Cynthia’s Flowers: A Personal Fundraising Movement to Spread Hope and Cheer at The James

Delivering Cynthias Flowers

For Cynthia Rudolph, all it took was a single rainbow flower.

Sitting in her hospital room, she noticed the paper petals, so bright and cheery, illuminated against the white walls. To her, this flower was more than a decoration – it was a symbol of hope, faith and beauty. Easily replicable, it would eventually become the avenue by which Cynthia could inspire others to remain positive in a battle with cancer.

When Cynthia was diagnosed in March 2014 with lymphoma, the Rudolph family was unsure about what they were up against. In search of a second opinion, Cynthia, her husband Alex their young son Owen boarded a plane from Florida to Columbus. Originally from Ohio, Alex was confident in the abilities of the physicians and staff at the OSUCCC – James.

After the Rudolphs’ first visit, those physicians were able to identify a very rare subtype of lymphoma. In the 13 months of Cynthia’s battle, the OSUCCC – James provided a comfortable, friendly environment in which the Rudolphs could ask questions and seek treatment, both at The James and elsewhere.

“I could really feel the personal touch given to Cynthia by the doctors,” Alex says. “They dedicated an entire day to us to go over treatment plans for my wife’s rare subtype of cancer. They helped us deal with the monster we call double hit diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.” 

Alex was grateful for how easily accessible Cynthia’s doctors were. Even when the Rudolphs returned to Florida for the final months of Cynthia’s life, her doctors at the OSUCCCC – James were only a phone call away. This motivated Alex to support the institution.

When asked about his experiences, Alex replied, “The doctors at The James were our friends—they allowed us to maintain a sense of normalcy in our lives even when we were thousands of miles away.”

Unfortunately, Cynthia died at age 40 on April 7, 2015, shortly before their 10th wedding anniversary.

Although she lost her fight to cancer, her legacy lives on through Alex’s personal fundraising page, “Cynthia’s Flowers.”

As a patient, Cynthia strove to provide beauty to the inpatient cancer floors of the many hospitals she visited. Due to the risk of infection among patients on those floors, live plants and flowers are prohibited. But stemming from her passion for art and for being a stay-at-home mom, Cynthia developed a simple solution to this problem: making rainbow paper flowers.

Now, with the help of her family, cousins and friends, several deliveries of Cynthia’s Flowers have been made to various hospitals, including the OSUCCC – James. In addition, Alex’s personal fundraising page has raised over $10,000 for double hit lymphoma research at the OSUCCC – James.

Today, Cynthia is remembered for her beautiful smile and her belief in remaining strong and positive through treatment. This message lives on through the paper flowers and the personal fundraising page that Alex has created in her memory.

No matter where you reside around the country, you can support the doctors, researchers and services at the OSUCCC – James. Personal fundraising pages, like the one used for Cynthia’s Flowers, are helping us create a cancer-free world. Create your own personal fundraising page today.