Ohio State Dedicates Comprehensive Breast Center in honor of Stefanie Spielman

News Release Date: 
10.25.11

The Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee today announced the naming of The Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, in honor of the Ohio State alumna, philanthropist and advocate. The Center is the only one of its kind in the Midwest to offer the full continuum of breast cancer care, from prevention and screening through detection, diagnosis and treatment. The Center is home to some of the nation’s leading breast cancer researchers and physicians, all singularly focused on preventing, detecting, treating and curing breast cancer.

“First and foremost, Stefanie made a difference in the lives of countless patients and their families in the fight against cancer,” said President Gee. “She touched those struggling with their diagnosis and treatments, helping to make their worlds more comfortable, more optimistic, and more affirmative. She possessed an uncommon combination of bravery, grace, and compassion that continues to resonate through her remarkable legacy.”

Stefanie Spielman graduated from The Ohio State University in 1989 with a journalism degree. During a self-examination at age 30, she discovered a lump that was diagnosed as cancer by doctors at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

Rather than focus on the diagnosis, Stefanie and her husband Chris, an All-American linebacker during his playing days at Ohio State, set out to raise money for breast cancer research at the OSUCCC - James. In the first year, they raised more than $1 million, four times greater than their original goal. The Spielmans also raised awareness for the need for breast exams and early detection.

The Stefanie Spielman Funds (www.spielmanfund.com), including The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Patient Assistance, The Stefanie Spielman Chair in Cancer Imaging, and The Spielman Breast Cancer Tissue Archive Services and Spielman Breast Cancer Tumor Bank, have raised more than $9.1 million to date.

Chris said he and his wife were motivated by the concept of “pay it forward,” an often-quoted adage of legendary Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes. “If you invest in the future of others, that investment is guaranteed to grow,” said Chris. “If you keep everything you have, all the services that you have, all the love, all the loyalty, all the good works within you, if you keep it, you lose it.”

Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, said “few non-doctors have contributed so much in the quest to create a cancer-free world as Stefanie Spielman. This is a fitting memorial to all she accomplished. We know that her legacy, this building and the experts within it will inspire others to, in Stefanie’s words, ‘Continue to fight. Continue to live.’”

The Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center offers on-site access to digital mammography, diagnostic imaging, nuclear imaging, clinical trials, chemotherapy, laboratory services, nutrition services, financial counseling, medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, genetic counseling and reconstructive surgery, along with social and psychological counseling. To promote cancer prevention and survivorship, the center includes a state-of-the-art rehabilitation gymnasium, along with conference rooms for classes and support groups.

Also located on site is Hope’s Boutique, a shop specializing in providing one-on-one dedicated care for women in treatment for cancer and in recovery. Women receive personal assistance in selecting wigs along with a wide variety of head coverings, including scarves, hats and skullcaps.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 210-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top 20 cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.