Charles Ruma, president of Virginia Homes in Powell, Ohio, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2006 at the age of 36 and introduced to a world that he never wanted to know. Thankfully, today Charles is cancer-free.
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 (OSUCCC-James), Charles set out to make a difference for all people living with a cancer diagnosis.
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, and so A Home for Hope was born.
As Ruma recalls, "The care and treatment I received while at The James saved my life, and my family and I owe them more than we can ever repay. As a homebuilder, the idea to create this home and project and donate all the proceeds to curing cancer came pretty naturally.
The "Hope" home will be a new build, at 3,100 square feet with an estimated post-construction value of $459,500 in the Tartan West community in Dublin, Ohio. Ground was broken in early December and upon completion in June, 2011, the home will be auctioned live at a celebration event, with 90 percent of the sale proceeds supporting OSUCCC-James, and the remaining 10 percent to The LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. Public donations can also be made on behalf of the project.
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.
"Once Huntington came onboard, the project has grown to involve all of our subcontractors and many, many other caring people who have been affected by cancer." Virginia Homes will be working with subcontractors and suppliers to attain donations of goods and services for the home in order to minimize construction costs.
Randy Stickler, Huntington senior executive vice president, commented, "Huntington Bank is proud to be working with Charles Ruma and Virginia Homes and the James on such a worthy cause. We are excited to see the home's eventual completion and auction to generate money in support of cancer research."
"Next to raising funds, our biggest objective is to raise awareness for cancer prevention and treatment," said 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 that we have gotten from the community is amazing. Everybody wants to do their part."
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (cancer.osu.edu) is one of only 40 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States designated by the National Cancer Institute. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 20 cancer hospitals in the nation, The James is the 180-bed adult patient-care component of the cancer program at The Ohio State University. The OSUCCC-James is one of only seven funded programs in the country approved by the NCI to conduct both Phase I and Phase II clinical trials.
The LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION, created by Tour de France champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, provides support to guide people through the cancer experience, bringing them together to fight cancer, and working for a world in which that fight is no longer necessary.