The Impact of Giving: Marsha's Story

Marsha Harris

Marsha Harris, now 73, retired several years ago after decades of teaching students. She is a fitness enthusiast, spending most of her days at the golf course, tennis courts or gym. In January, Marsha noticed herself growing short of breath while walking. She thought it might have been lingering effects from a respiratory virus she’d picked up last fall, but decided to mention it to her doctor a few weeks later, just to be safe.

X-rays showed fluid building up in Marsha’s right lung. More tests showed cancer. Marsha was referred to David Carbone, MD, a medical oncologist and researcher at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). Dr. Carbone is one of the world’s leading experts on treating lung cancer and another top expert recruited to Ohio State through the support of philanthropic gifts. 

His research was among the first in the world to identify specific gene mutations inside cancer cells that allow doctors to target lifesaving medicine to those cells. When Dr. Carbone met Marsha, he also tested her for those mutations. She had the very mutation that he’d discovered years ago.

Now, Marsha takes a pill each day that targets those genes. She may need chemotherapy someday, but she hasn’t needed it yet. She is back at the golf course and in her gym. As she says, “A lot of times, I forget I have lung cancer.”

It is miraculous that she feels that way. And across the many forms of this grim disease, patients like Marsha still need our help. Her story is, as Dr. Carbone says, a success of science. But that science can’t happen without people like you stepping up to help fund it.

You are a difference-maker. You have the ability to help cure cancer. Please join us in supporting cancer research at the OSUCCC – James. Any gift can make a world of difference in the lives of our patients. We can cure cancer — but we can’t do it without you.

Give today.

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