Jeff Tohl endured testing, five months of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant during the three years that followed his cancer diagnosis — a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With a clean bill of health and regained strength, he thought he was out of the woods.
But when his white blood cell count dropped again in November 2009, Tohl, who was treated for mantle cell lymphoma, discovered he was part of an unlucky minority: Following a stem cell transplant, 7 percent of patients are at risk for developing leukemia. To keep the leukemia at bay, he’d need another stem cell transplant, this time from a donor. But as a Jew, he soon discovered that finding a donor would prove nearly impossible.
This time, Charlie Lustman hadn't come to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for medical tests or to endure another round of chemotherapy. Despite having lost three-quarters of his jawbone, Lustman had come to celebrate, to inspire -- and to sing.
Talent manager Joan Hyler makes slow, steady progress after a life-threatening accident.
56-year-old actor extraordinaire Streep of "Out of Africa," "Sophie's Choice," "Kramer vs. Kramer," "Postcards From the Edge," "Angels in America,"etc. and 13 Academy Award nominations fame has taken on the comi-tragic role of a Jewish mother.
Retired cardiologist Dr. Robert Peck remembers the 40-year-old uninsured patient who was admitted to the emergency room of a local hospital with severe chest pains. The patient was stabilized, but required further treatment. Since he had no insurance, he was to be transferred to one of the county hospitals that serve the uninsured. But the patient died while awaiting transfer.
Bob S. insists that his mother back in Virginia made the best chicken soup ever, but he's willing to admit the homemade version delivered to his Van Nuys apartment is a close second.
The delivery is part of the mission of Project Chicken Soup, an all-volunteer group that cooks, packages and personally delivers kosher meals twice a month to patients living with HIV and AIDS. It might be a chicken breast or a casserole, along with the soup, salad, fruit, dessert or even a protein drink.
"A woman came into my office yesterday needing to make a decision about the amputation of her husband's leg," said Rabbi Levi Meier, the chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "It was a very difficult case, because her husband cannot give proper, informed consent, because his mind is not functioning anymore
One day, my oncologist was in a talkative mood. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after 30 years in the lung cancer world, he knows that religion doesn't always help his patients.
"How are you doing?" he asked. "I mean, this has to be a big test of faith."
Now, 18 months after receiving a devastating diagnosis, my understanding of religion has been transformed.