For Charles Ruma, CEO of Virginia Homes and testicular cancer survivor, cancer was a game changer.
“When you’re a 36-year-old, seemingly healthy person and you hear the words ‘You have cancer,’ that’s a curveball you don’t expect,” says Charles. A self-described hospital-phobe, Charles’s diagnosis forced him to make peace with the idea of waiting rooms, doctors and treatments.
Thankfully, Charles chose to be treated at the OSUCCC – James, where he received top-notch care from Kamal Pohar, MD, and the rest of the multidisciplinary genitourinary cancers team.
“From the first moment I walked into the OSUCCC – James, I knew I was in the right place. With the high level of knowledge and expertise there, I knew I was going to have great care and the best outcome possible. And I was there so frequently that it became a comfortable place to be.”
After his treatments ended, Charles decided to help give back to the cancer community by melding his passion for home building with his desire to eradicate cancer: the Home for Hope.
Virginia Homes, with donations from suppliers, built a Home for Hope in 2011, which was outfitted with air- and water-filtration systems meant to reduce contaminants, and other amenities to promote a healthy environment. The house raised approximately $65,000 for cancer research at auction. Virginia Homes is now building a second Home for Hope in hopes to double the amount of money raised for cutting-edge research at the OSUCCC – James.
“Cancer is going to be cured at the OSUCCC – James,” says Charles, who is now co-chair of the James Ambassadors Society and a member of The James Foundation Board. “It’s just a matter of time and resources, and private dollars are very important to the fight. That’s where we come in. We can’t create more time, but we can create more resources.”