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OSU cancer center named for Stefanie Spielman

Kevin Fitzsimons / The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center announced the name of its new breast cancer center, The Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center.

The center was named after alumna Stefanie Spielman, the late wife of former OSU and NFL linebacker Chris Spielman.

Stefanie Spielman was a philanthropist and advocate for breast cancer awareness since a self-exam lead her to find a lump. She was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 30. Stefanie and Chris Spielman raised more than $1 million for breast cancer research. The total amount of money raised to-date by the Stefanie Spielman funds is more than $91 million. Stefanie was treated at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital. Stefanie Spielman lost her battle with cancer after more than 10 years in November 2009.

OSU President E. Gordon Gee praised the Spielman’s for their past and present work in the field of breast cancer awareness.

“She transformed her own challenge into extraordinary blessings for countless breast cancer patients and their families, becoming a personal source of help and a national source of hope,” Gee said in an email to students and staff on Monday.

Dr. Charles Shapiro, director of Breast Medical Oncology at OSUCCC, described Stefanie Spielman as a very meaningful person to thousands of people across Ohio and the nation.

“Her tireless work and efforts toward detection are significant and meaningful,” Shapiro told The Lantern on Monday.

Stefanie Spielman stressed the importance of research. Shapiro said that advances in research have been made as a direct result of the funds she raised and that everyone in the breast cancer center is dedicated to helping her cause.

“It is not just a naming, each of us in the center are committed to constantly improving the screening process, diagnosis, treatment and finding a cure,” Shapiro said.

“We have to do better; Stefanie is an inspiration to me, every physician, surgeon, therapist, oncologist and radiation specialist, everyone in the center. We all have a common purpose in making a dedication to making a real improvement in outstanding research, outstanding discoveries and clinical care.” Shapiro said.

In an email addressed to students, faculty and friends, Gee said

“It is our shared vision that the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center will be the place where breast cancer ends,” Gee said in an email to students and staff on Monday. “Many of the nation’s leading scientists, researchers, and physicians are working in our world-class facilities to turn that phrase into reality. I look forward to the day we can announce the cure for breast cancer in the building that now bears Stefanie Spielman’s name.”

Shapiro said he believes the cancer center can do good things for the university and nationally.

“Stefanie would be proud of us and what we are trying to achieve.” Shapiro said. “Her husband Chris is an inspiration to us too.”

The center is the only one in the Midwest to offer comprehensive breast cancer care. In addition to providing breast cancer care in the form of detection, diagnosis and treatment, the center will also provide breast cancer prevention care.

The Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center will also have the Hope Boutique on site, where women can find one-on-one care and recovery.

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