Buckeye for Life
Last April, in honor of Donate Life Month, members of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Transplant Center along with organ transplant recipients planted a colorful display of 6,500 pinwheels on The Ohio State University Medical Center Plaza. The pinwheels represented the number of transplants performed at Ohio State since its program began in 1967, and honored those who have given the "gift of life" and those who have received a second chance at life through transplantation.
The Ohio State University Medical Center is the only adult transplant center in central Ohio and a national leader in scientific advances in transplantation. The program is also one of the largest transplant centers in the country based on volume.
Harbor AMD Clinical Trial
Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a severe form of vision loss, is a leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 65. The Department of Ophthalmology is enrolling patients with newly diagnosed wet AMD in a clinical trial to help advance the treatment options for this condition. Qualifying patients should have untreated, recently diagnosed wet AMD. All study visits and medication are free of charge.
The Best, Again
For the third year in a row, OSU Medical Center has been voted by its staff one of the "Best Places to Work" in central Ohio in Business First’s annual survey.
Read more about this recognition.
Come see what all the excitement is about—visit our career page for job openings.
Brothers Adam and Cory Lunger were featured in the spring-summer 2009 issue of health1. “Ready to Roll” detailed the experience Cory had with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute while battling lymphoblastic lymphoma. His older brother Adam provided the bone marrow Cory needed for his treatment and recovery.
When the Pelotonia bike tour – a fund-raiser for cancer research at the OSUCCC-James – was announced, Cory, a bike riding enthusiast, knew he wanted to be part of it. His goal was to be healthy enough by the August 2009 event to ride the longest route of the tour – 180 miles. Adam supported Cory by riding along with him. Read “Ready to Roll” here.
We are excited to share Adam and Cory’s Pelotonia experience. Told in their own words, each brother gives an account of the months of training leading up to Pelotonia, the night before the ride and the two exciting days they were cancer-fighting cyclists. We thank them for participating in Pelotonia and for this first-hand account of the inaugural event.
Click here to see a photo slideshow of Cory and Adam Lunger's Pelotonia experience.
Cory: Overall training for Pelotonia 2009 went fairly well. Cycling was on the back burner for me early in the year because I had set a goal of completing the Cap City Half Marathon May 2nd. My main focus up until that date was strictly running.
Adam: I started by adjusting my diet to accommodate the increased calorie demand of long miles on the bike. I ate a donut every weekday morning starting around March. This was supposed to motivate me to ride more miles, but it just made me fat. I told my mom about my training regime and she said “You can’t do that!”
Cory: Within the first four months of the year, I was on my bike at most five times. One week before the half marathon, I developed GVHD (graft versus host disease) of the lungs, which made running and even every day activities such as walking up a flight of stairs extremely difficult. This complication stuck with me the entire month of May, so training for the ride did not start until June. I was able to ride on average about 120 miles a week through June and July. For the most part, Adam and I trained separately, but we were able to complete two long training rides together: one in June from Columbus to Dayton (85 miles) and one in July that took us from my house to Cedarville and back (105 miles). At the end of July, I encountered yet another setback. The GVHD was back, but this time in the form of scleroderma systems. In layman’s terms, the connective tissue all over my body was hardening and this led to very limited flexibility and soreness all over. This forced me to put training on hold and start a new treatment program called extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP). Pelotonia ’09 was here before I knew it, and I had not been in the saddle for an entire month.
Adam: It wasn't until the opening ceremony that I realized the size of the event to come. We showed up fairly early and I picked up our welcome packets.
Cory: The amount of people at the opening ceremony was a little frightening; large groups of people make me kind of nervous. For the inaugural year, they combined Cancer Survivors Day with the opening ceremony. Overall, the setup was amazing. There were two large tents set up, one for the survivors and one for the riders. Also, there seemed to be a plethora of giveaways that were great.
Adam: There were plenty of booths with swag, so we wandered around and grabbed all the free stuff we could get our hands on. Cory couldn't get enough Myoplex®. He sent everyone we know to pick up a case; somehow they all ended up in the trunk of his car. This is when I got my first taste of ávitae caffeinated water. I wasn't sure if I would pay for caffeinated water, but I would try it for free. Maybe that's how they get people hooked. I ended up putting this stuff in my water bottle at every rest stop.
Cory: Being a rider and cancer survivor, I was able to choose which tent I would eat at. I chose to spend the evening with my mother and father in the survivors’ tent. As a survivor, we were allowed one guest at the dinner, so I gave that spot to my mother. My father was able to attend because he is a cancer survivor as well. Being able to share this evening with both of them was a marvelous experience. Seeing all the survivors together in one place was astonishing.
Adam: I perused the buffet, picking up salad, chicken, potatoes and salmon, before finding a seat next to some fellow riders. I did look longingly at the beer truck, but decided that getting up for the ride the next morning would be hard enough by itself.
Cory: After eating, the weather seemed to be taking a turn for the worse. We decided to head for home before the clouds opened up.
Adam: Cory and our dad met me up at my place in the Short North at 5:45 a.m. We snapped some photos, threw some blinkies on our bikes and headed toward Chemical Abstracts where Pelotonia 2009 was about to start. As we neared the event on Olentangy River Road, we ran into some traffic. We wove through the waiting cars, into the Chemical Abstracts lot, coming to a stop behind the south end of the parking garage. Surrounded by complete darkness cut only by a few generator-powered flood lights, the place was packed. There were thousands of people in cycling gear, wall-to-wall bicycles and announcements booming over the PA. I watched our bikes as Cory found us some food. I ended up with a muffin while Cory opted for a banana before finding our place in the starting area. Initially set for 7 a.m., the start was delayed for half an hour. With a chance of rain, I fiddled with my race blade fenders trying to decide if they were worth the trouble. I handed them off to my dad who was on the sidelines waiting to take a couple of race start photos. Even before we saw Lance, we could see people swarming around an area off to the left of us. We caught a glimpse of him as he emerged from between two buildings and coasted down to the front of the line. At 7:30, we were off. I had never participated in a mass start cycling event before. I was a bit uneasy about starting alongside two thousand other rides. It ended up working out alright. The sun was just coming up and we were off for one of the best rides of our lives. For the first twenty miles we were led by police escort and greeted with closed intersections. It was smooth sailing through Victorian Village, the Arena District, Downtown, German Village and then off to the southeast.
Adam: Shortly after we left downtown, I was pulling out front and Cory says to me “What pressure are you running in your back tire?” I take a look and it's almost completely flat. We stopped in a driveway and went into pit crew mode. I grabbed my toolkit, flipped the bike over and started to take the tire off. Cory used my frame pump to prime a new tube. We were set to be back on the road in less than five minutes. I replaced the tube and reseated the tire as Cory loaded his CO2 inflator with a new cartridge. This is where it all went wrong.
Cory: The flat tire ordeal was pretty annoying. I was contemplating on continuing on without him, but I would like to think if I were in his position he would assist me, so I offered up my expertise. In no time we had the old tube out, the new one in and Adam started to use his pump to inflate the tire. I thought to myself, ‘why is he using that silly old-fashioned hand pump?’ I pulled out my fancy CO2 inflator and inserted the cartridge; this was going to make quick work of inflating the new tube (in theory anyway). The result was a little less impressive; I just ended up with extremely cold fingers from the CO2 leaking all over my hands and the tube still had no air. I tossed the inflator on the roadside and we reverted to taking turns with his trusty old hand pump.
Adam: Good thing I carried a full-size frame pump. We got the tire back up to a useable pressure and limped into the next rest stop, which luckily was only a couple of miles down the road. This was the first time we saw the mobs of supporters on the route. There were screaming people lining the sides of the road with signs and cowbells. In my mind, it could have been the Tour de France. All we needed was someone trying to run beside us.
Adam: The rest of the way down to the lunch stop at Amanda-Clearcreek High School was a quick, effortless ride. Part of this was due to the fact that we caught up with a co-worker of mine, Gina. She was riding a vintage Trek road bike that she picked up of Craigslist last summer in anticipation of the event. I remember giving her a few pointers on what to look for in a used road bike. She did quite well. Anyway, we formed a small pace line, starting with just the three of us and picking up a few people along the way. Gina kept pulling the line even when others would try to take over. She was really pushing the pace. After about 10 miles of her continuously leading the group, a rider from the back of the pack finally pulled to the front and said "Nice pull!" She had no idea that a group of riders was drafting her lead, but we were all thankful that she had. We waved goodbye to Gina and blew through the next rest stop, continuing on toward Amanda-Clearcreek High School.
Adam: The energy of all the riders and supporters made the first 50 miles seem like nothing, but I was ready to refuel. I knew that the most challenging part of the ride was still to come.
Cory: The midway point was the high school and it was something I was looking forward to. I knew that my oncologist Dr. Rebecca Klisovic was volunteering at this pit stop. It was nice to hang there for a bit with the doc to get some much-needed rest and to refuel.
Adam: The first two things I saw were caffeinated water and donut boxes. I filled up on caffeinated water, but sadly the donuts were long gone. We caught up with our younger sister, Jessica, who was volunteering at the rest stop. She just gave us some funny looks and made a few comments about our cycling clothes. Jessica told us Lance caught everyone by surprise, zooming through the rest stop hours ahead of most riders.
Cory: Up until this point, the ride was relatively easy and I felt really good. That was all about to change. The 50-mile riders got off easy, because after the rest stop at the high school, the organizers of the ride were kind enough to send us up into the hills. This is where the suffering, I mean fun, began.
A: Heading out of Amanda, we enjoyed the breathtaking scenery as we meandered through the Clearcreek Metro Park. We decided to take a quick break at the rest stop in Clearcreek before the real hills started. I'm never sure if it's good to take a rest before the hard stuff or to keep momentum. I had ridden this section of the course earlier in the year, so I knew what we were up against. I even switched my drivetrain to a compact double to give me some easier gears. Honestly, it didn't make a difference.
Cory: The next 20 miles were pretty challenging. There were two things against me at this point: one, all of my training was on flat ground (central Ohio is not known for hills) and two, I had not been riding for the entire month before. I was struggling! Within 10 miles of leaving the high school, we were faced with what I believe to be the most difficult hill of the ride.
Adam: Leaving the Clearcreek rest stop, we immediately start climbing. It seems like a nice, easy, scenic climb until bam!, there's the hill staring you in the face. There were more people walking than riding, but I had climbed it before – I was going to do it again. I might have stayed in the saddle for a quarter of the hill, but after that it was all about dancing on the pedals. At least that's what I told myself I was doing to keep from falling over. I reached a part of the hill where it starts to plateau and there was a guy on the side of the road yelling "You've made it! You're at the top!" I pedaled harder, pushing my way over the crest only to realize there was still more hill. I had been tricked. Well, it was definitely less steep from this point, so maybe I had only been half-fooled. I knew I was nearing the true top of the hill when I started to hear polka music. Sure enough, there was a polka band and a group of riders celebrating their arrival at the summit.
Cory: The small bridge covered by a canopy of trees did not give any inclination of what would lie ahead. As soon as we crossed the bridge, I knew we were in trouble; at least I was. I soon lost hold of Adam’s back wheel and within the first 200 feet of the 5 percent incline (rather extreme in amateur cycling terms), I was out of the saddle and walking. This hill was BRUTAL. I would say at least half of the riders on their way to Athens were walking up that hill. After trying to remount about every 50 feet, I finally accepted defeat and walked until about 100 feet from the crest; I did not want to be seen walking by the crowd at the top.
Adam: From this point on, it was more of the same: beautiful scenery, tough uphills, fast descents and more supporters than I could imagine. There really were people cheering around every corner: cow bells, yells of encouragement and signs. It made the hills seem just a little flatter. After skipping through Logan and into Nelsonville, we were on the home stretch. Fifteen miles of smooth bikeway and we were in Athens.
Cory: After that climb, the remainder of the ride seemed comparatively easy even with our energy levels diminished. After looking at the elevation profile from my GPS cyclo-computer, this feeling of the remainder of the ride being easier was just a misconception. The last 15 miles were my favorite part, nice and flat!
Adam: About a quarter mile before the finish, our mom was waiting to snap an early picture. It was one of the true highlights of my day. As we got closer, I noticed that she was holding the camera upside down and backwards while trying to make a phone call. I'm pretty sure she ended up with a self-portrait. I couldn't stop laughing.
Cory: Upon arriving in Athens, we stopped at the check-in table to receive our room assignments that were provided for 180-mile riders. We did not plan to stay in the provided rooms, but thought we should check in so we were not assumed to still be out on the course. Instead of getting food at the finish line, we decided to head to downtown Athens to enjoy a meal with our family and some supporters; this allowed us to unwind without the crowds.
Adam: After cleaning up, we met our family at Casa Nueva for a tasty dinner. There was still some time left in the day, so wandered around the Pelotonia area talking to friends and enjoying ice cream treats. With another early start, we didn't stay out too late.
Cory: When we got back to the finish area, I was anxious to see how the ride treated everyone else, and sure enough, most thought that the route was pretty difficult.
Cory: I woke up at about 5 a.m. to start getting prepared for the ride home, and surprisingly I was not dreading it as much as I thought. The “off-campus” accommodations provided a great night’s rest. We arrived back at the finish/starting line around 6:30 and were able to find some people who Adam had joined for training rides. The first 15 miles were as remembered, flat.
Adam: There were only 500 riders making the return trip, so things were a bit more relaxed. The first 15 miles of the day along the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway were cool, flat and fast. We latched onto a group that whooshed along at about 20 miles per hour. Any hint of cold and sleep were driven away by the first climb of the day. I stopped at the top to stuff my jacket into my handlebar bag. Cory caught up and we were off again. Today seemed calmer. There were fewer spectators along the route. I was looking forward to the finish.
Cory: I figured the return trip would be a breeze because of all the uphills were conquered on the first day; those uphills should have made for a lot of downhills on the way home. Surprisingly, the ride home seemed to have just as many challenging ascents.
Adam: After a white-knuckled descent of the monster hill on Starmer Road and after going backward through the now empty Amanda-Clearcreek rest stop, we settled in for the final stretch of our two-day adventure. We were running out of energy when we spotted the sign for the Slate Run Metro Park. The winding, two-mile entrance to the park seemed to go on forever. After coasting across the finish line, I found a spot in the grass to sprawl out and take a much needed rest. Although, it didn't take me long to find the beer truck that I had waited for since the opening ceremony. As I sat on the lawn enjoying my beverage and chatting with my family, I thought, I want to be better at climbing those hills next year.
Cory: The 180 miles were very challenging. At some points, I felt as if the end was never in sight, but immediately after crossing the finish line in Slate Run Metro Park, I knew I would be participating in Pelotonia '10. The ups and downs of this journey will always be a great memory, and the fact that I was able to ride by my brother’s side makes it even more special. I know one thing, training for next will incorporate a lot more hill work!