Home for Hope

Auction to benefit The James

When Charles Ruma, president of Virginia Homes in Powell, Ohio, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2006 at the age of 36, he was introduced to a world he never wanted to know. Fortunately, he recovered, crediting his good outcome to the treatment he received at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

He knew he was one of the lucky ones, and wanted to make a difference in the lives of others struggling with a cancer diagnosis, so he decided to build the “Home for Hope.” The Home is being built in the Tartan West community in Dublin, Ohio. The 3,100-square foot home, with an estimated value of $459,900, is scheduled for completion in June, when it will be auctioned live at a celebration event on June 25. Ninety percent of the proceeds will benefit the OSUCCC – James, with the remaining 10 percent benefitting the LIVESTRONG™ Foundation. The project is financed by Huntington Bank.

Ruma’s personal cancer experience inspired the project. He recalls, “The care and treatment I received while at The James saved my life. My family and I owe them more than we can ever repay. As a homebuilder, the idea to create this home and donate all the proceeds to curing cancer came pretty naturally. Once Huntington came on board, the project has grown to involve all of our subcontractors and many, many other caring people who have been affected by cancer.”

Virginia Homes worked with subcontractors and suppliers to attain donations of goods and services for the home in order to minimize construction costs.

“Next to raising funds, our biggest objective is to raise awareness for cancer prevention and treatment,” says Ruma. “Cancer is an epidemic, as one in three people will be touched by this disease. Anything we can do to fight and cure it, we have to do. The outpouring of support we have gotten from the community is amazing. Everybody wants to do their part.”

With cancer prevention as the design theme, features such as a kitchen geared toward whole food preparation, low volatile organic compound (VOC) building products, radon abatement, a home gym and a vegetable garden will support the idea of healthy living.

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