Celebration for Life is an annual event chaired by Judy and Steve Tuckerman to benefit The James Fund for Life, an annual fund that was established by Abigail and Les Wexner.

This event has raised more than $18.9 million dollars since its inception in 2002, which have purchased crucial technologies and equipment for cancer research and patient care. Simply put, this support saves and improves lives. Read on to learn more about the 2018 purchases as well as past investments made possible by Celebration for Life supporters.

Past Annual Fund Acquisitions


Prone Biopsy Table

The new table will introduce state-of-the-art technology that includes 3-D tomosynthesis imaging. Additionally, it will eliminate the need to manually reposition the machine for each stereotactic image and instead acquire images in one sweep of the X-ray tube. This decreases time that the patient will need to remain on the table for biopsy and improve efficiency of the procedure. The new table will give our clinicians the capability to biopsy from any position of the breast without repositioning the patient on the table.

Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS)

Screening ultrasound is a compliment to mammography for patients with dense breast tissue. Mammography can miss over 1/3 of cancers in dense breasts. The ABUS equipment will allow for whole-breast screening in 15 minutes versus up to 1-hour with a handheld ultrasound.

Two Mammography Units for New Satellite Locations

It is critical that women all over Central Ohio can receive a specialized OSUCCC – James mammogram at a location close to their home or employer. To help meet this need, we are opening new locations in Grove City and Worthington. Both sites will have high-tech equipment offering tomosynthesis imaging technology.


Mobile Education Kitchen

Through your support, the OSUCCC – James will build the first mobile education kitchen to support interactive oncology nutrition education and provide prevention education in the community. This state-of-the-art technology will include a demo kitchen outfitted with cameras and external monitors. This allows chefs and registered dietitians to partner on cooking demos and nutrition education to improve patients’ knowledge and culinary skills, a critical component in managing their treatment. The mobile education kitchen will be available to support/caregiver groups, community events and wellness activities.

VisionRT, MicroSTARii and Patient Imaging Technology

Radiation therapy is very effective at reducing cancer recurrences from breast cancer, but must be delivered to patients accurately to ensure safe and effective treatment. Complex and constantly-evolving technology support precise delivery of radiation therapy. It is critical that this technology at the Spielman Breast Center remain state-of-the-art. This investment will enhance three vital steps in the delivery of radiation:

  • VisionRT ensures correct patient positioning during treatment, using real-time tracking of the skin surface through 3D camera technology.
  • High Quality Radiation Treatment Images are taken regularly during each treatment. These are crucial to performing exact and safe therapy.
  • MicroSTARii Patient Dosimetry system allows for precise measurement of the radiation dose to be delivered.

Upgrading these systems will affect every patient who receives radiation and ensures the highest quality treatment is delivered.

2016 Tomosynthesis Technology

Proceeds from the 2016 Celebration for Life will benefit the James Fund for Life at the OSUCCC – James, supporting the purchase of additional tomosynthesis technology. Tomosynthesis is a 3D imaging technology that acquires images of a breast at multiple angles during a short scan. These are used to produce a series of images that can be viewed as a 3D reconstruction of the breast.

This technology is beneficial because instead of analyzing traditional mammograms, tomosynthesis allows radiologists to scroll through one-millimeter layers of the tissue and better image the breasts. Studies have demonstrated that 30 percent fewer patients are called back for additional views when tomosynthesis is used. Importantly, studies have also shown greater sensitivity with tomosynthesis, meaning a higher proportion of mammograms with cancer were correctly diagnosed. A third potential benefit of these improvements is fewer biopsies of benign lesions.

2015 NextSeq 500 Sequencing System

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells that invade and destroy neighboring tissues. If left unchecked, cancer cells can spread to other areas of the body. The fundamental cause of cancer is changes in genes, particularly gene mutations. Understanding these changes is critical for learning how cancer begins, grows and spreads. This knowledge also helps researchers develop ways to treat cancer, to identify patients who will respond to treatments, to help patients overcome treatment resistance, and to determine patients’ chances for recovery. A vital technology for discerning and studying these changes is called next generation sequencing (NGS), a process for identifying the chemical building blocks of a person’s DNA in the order, or sequence, in which they occur within genes in cancer cells and healthy cells.

Revenue generated by Celebration for Life 2015 will help the OSUCCC – James keep pace with advances in NGS technology by supporting the purchase of a NextSeq™ 500 Sequencing System from a California-based company called Illumina. Researchers at the OSUCCC – James chose this instrument because it’s a fast, flexible, high-capacity, desktop gene sequencer that is highly accurate and offers a range of applications. The system’s push-button operation and streamlined process will allow researchers to conduct the most needed sequencing applications in less than a day. By helping researchers analyze patient samples faster than current technology allows, and with similar accuracy, the NextSeq 500 will accelerate the development of treatments that target each patient’s biologically unique cancer.

2009 – 2014 Technology Acquisition Fund

Funding for technology in the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

2008 Flow Cytometer

This sophisticated instrument enables medical scientists to rapidly measure physical and chemical properties of cells and particles. Flow cytometers, which consist of electrical, digital and optical components, allow for accurate analysis of DNA, cell cycle, cell function and cell death. This analysis is of paramount importance in helping scientists understand the basic properties of cancer in its many forms — insight that translates to innovative treatment at the OSUCCC – James. In 2008, a new Technology Acquisition Fund was created to support the attainment of equipment for the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

2007 Digital Mobile Mammography Unit & Funds for Technology Needs of the New Survivorship Center

The addition of this new, high-tech mobile unit with digital mammogram capabilities to the JamesCare comprehensive breast program greatly enhances our ability to identify and treat breast cancer in the Columbus region and provides the opportunity to reach areas of Ohio that do not have easy access to mammography. This increases the number of mammogram-detected breast cancers and provides patients with the ability to participate in clinical trials. It also allows us to look at different biomarkers that increase knowledge and impact treatment options. In addition to the mobile unit, proceeds also supported the technology needs of the survivorship center.

2006 Robotic Surgical Equipment — daVinci Robot

The OSUCCC – James has become a leader in robotic surgery, impacting surgeons and patients from around the world. The first robot was in high demand, and the 2006 gift allowed the OSUCCC – James to add a second robot to its surgical lineup, giving patients and doctors more access to the latest surgical technology. It not only allows us to provide minimally invasive treatment for multiple cancers, but also positions the OSUCCC – James to expand the use of surgical robots to treat a variety of noncancerous conditions at The Ohio State University’s Center for Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery.

2005 Stereotactic Radiosurgery & Image-Guided Radiation Therapy

This technology provides nonsurgical treatment to tumor sites outside the brain with pinpoint accuracy to reduce damage to healthy tissue. The equipment complements the Division of Radiation Oncology’s existing stereotactic radiosurgery program, which currently treats only brain tumors.

2004 Robotic Surgical Equipment & Technology

With the acquisition of this technology, the OSUCCC – James successfully recruited world-class experts to its robotics and minimally invasive urological surgery program. Surgeons have been able to perform procedures with greater precision and dexterity, allowing patients to recover more quickly, with minimal pain and an earlier return to normal activity.

2003 Intra-Operative MRI system

The physicians of the neurological surgery department are able to better diagnose and treat certain types of cancer with this intra-operative technology unlike any other in central Ohio. This system provides a valuable adjunct to standard neurological care, allowing the surgeon full access to the patient and providing state-of-the-art imaging during surgery.

2002 PET/CT Scanner

The acquisition of a Siemens PET/CTmscanner combined the imaging technologies of positron emission tomography (PET) and computer tomography (CT) to offer the ultimate imaging performance for improved diagnosis and treatment in oncology, neurology and cardiology.

James Fund for Life

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Learn how giving to the James Fund for Life supports the priorities of the OSUCCC – James including life-saving research, clinical trials and new technologies.

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