Patient Stories


BioOhio realizes that working in bioscience is more than just a job. Patients are at the heart of the bioscience industry. Our goal with the launch of this new page of is to educate the community about the value of bioscience-related research. In the coming months this page will be expanded to include stories related to a range of therapeutic areas, all with an Ohio connection.

Ohioans are curing debilitating pediatric diseases, creating less invasive surgical tools, programming highly accurate diagnostic imaging techniques, improving provider processes to reduce patient costs, personalizing medication delivery for individual patients, and much more.

Please contact us if you know of a story that should be considered for this page.

Stroke Survivors

Stroke Survivors and the Path to Recovery

Stroke is the leading cause of serious disability in the world. These five stroke survivors have volunteered to share their emotional stories. Listen as they describe their symptoms, their decision to participate in a clinical trial for stroke, and their path to recovery. Neurologists in the field of stroke also add their insights. For more information about stroke, please visit: For more information about MultiStem, please visit

Sharon Thomas

Sharon Thomas, a stroke survivor from Oregon, shares her emotional story about her stroke and the symptoms she experienced. Sharon participated in a clinical trial for an investigational stroke therapy, and she shares her journey to recovery.

Tedy Bruschi

Tedy Bruschi, former New England Patriots linebacker, is a stroke survivor. Tedy explains how important it is to recognize the signs of a stroke, because it can happen to anyone. Tedy had a stroke at the age of 31. Hear what he experienced, and what modern medicine is doing to develop additional treatments for stroke.

Cancer Treatments

Matt Hiznay

In August, 2011 during his second year of medical school at the University of Toledo, a persistent dry cough sent Matt to his family doctor. The same day that Matt was diagnosed metastatic lung cancer, the FDA approved a new drug, crizotinib (Xalkori®, Pfizer). After a harrowing hospital stay that included Matt twice suffering cardiac arrest, crizotinib worked and by November, Matt’s cancer was in remission. Although Matt’s cancer has recurred multiple times, a combination of traditional chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and enrollment in two clinical trials have kept his cancer controlled. Matt is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Case Western Reserve University.

Ray Thomas

Imagine doctors being able to scan your DNA from a biopsy and pinpoint the medicine that will work best for you. It’s a high-tech approach that scientists at The Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute are already using, particularly when it comes to lung cancer, the deadliest form of the cancer in the U.S. Ray Thomas received this treatment after being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer.

Bill Smith

Bill shares his experience receiving care for advanced stage lung cancer at the Cleveland Clinic. He is beating the odds with the help of his incredible multidisciplinary team using immunotherapy.

Neuroscience Research

Cleveland FES Center

I AM HUMAN is a documentary that explores what it means to be human by following the incredible journeys of three people with implantable brain interfaces. The film prominently features Clevelander Bill Kochevar and the cutting-edge work of BioOhio member Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (UH).

Ian Burkhart

Shortly after his freshman year of college while on summer vacation, an ill-fated dive into a wave rendered Ian a quadriplegic. Nearly six years after being paralyzed from his chest down, Ian Burkhart has regained control of his right hand and fingers with the help of a computer chip implanted in his brain and other technology that bypass his spinal injury. The breakthrough was made possible by a cutting-edge technology called Neurobridge developed by researchers at Battelle, working with doctors at Ohio State.

Medical Devices

Mark DuMoulin 

With a cancer diagnosis, one usually expects to undergo surgery, chemotherapy, or some combination of the two. For Mark DuMoulin, the surgery to remove his tumor had an added complication; it took a large portion of his femur bone (21cm) with it. Mark’s surgeons reconstructed his femur bone using pieces of his healthy bone to fill in the defect, but Mark still had a leg length discrepancy of about 2 inches. Using a NuVasive device, Mark was able to regrow his own bone and reach his height.

The McInturff Family

The McInturff family had not one child, but two with cerebral palsy – Gabe, 15, and Josie, 4. The Inclusioneers, the biomedical engineering design team and a cooperative between The University of Akron and The Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board, created a tandem wheelchair for the siblings.

Megan Starshak

Ulcerative colitis patient Megan Starshak shares her story. Enable Injections has designed the enFuse on-body infusor with the patient in mind, based on the belief that enabling at home self-administration with the right wearable infusion technology can help patients can get their lives back.

Click here to watch Megan’s video on Vimeo.

Rare Diseases

Charles River, Hypophosphotasia (HPP)

When Evie was born, she wasn’t expected to survive due to the rare metabolic bone disease hypophosphotasia (HPP), which affects bone growth, breathing, and mobility. At the time of her birth, there was no treatment. Charles River works with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies by providing expertise along the entire drug discovery and development continuum.

Gina Walker

The human body contains approximately 10 pints of blood. It took more than 500 pints to help save Gina Walker due to complications with the birth of her daughter Addison, all of which were screened for safety by Abbott products. Her story inspires us to do the work we love – helping you lead a healthier, fuller life.

Eric Stitzlein with his brother-in-law (and liver donor) Adam during different stages of recovery following transplant surgery. Photo Courtesey of Eric Stitzlein.

Eric Stitzlein

Five years ago, Eric found out he had a rare disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). PSC is a rare liver disease affecting 1 in 100,000 people. After receiving a liver donation from his brother-in-law, people like Eric now have the chance at a normal life because of advances in anti-rejection medications. Read more of Eric’s story here.


Joselin Linder

Joselin Linder is the author of The Family GeneWhen Joselin Linder was in her twenties her legs suddenly started to swell. After years of misdiagnoses, doctors discovered a deadly blockage in her liver. Struggling to find an explanation for her unusual condition, Joselin compared the medical chart of her father—who had died from a mysterious disease, ten years prior—with that of an uncle who had died under similarly strange circumstances. A doctor working on her family’s case for twenty years finally confirmed that fourteen of Joselin’s relatives carried something called a private mutation—meaning that they were the first known people to experience the baffling symptoms of a brand new genetic mutation.


Philip Fisher 

After being discovered unconscious at work, Philip Fisher was diagnosed with diabetes. Today, IBM and Medtronic are partnering to help people like Philip control their diabetes through Watson’s cognitive capabilities.

Substance Abuse

Alison Allen

Alison Allen is 62 years old, a wife, mother of two grown sons and a heroin addict. Alison became one of the first patients to try Vivitrol, a once-monthly medication for the treatment of alcohol dependence as well as for the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence, following opioid detoxification. Vivitrol is the first and only non-narcotic, non-addictive, once-monthly medication approved for the treatment of opioid dependence. Vivitrol is manufactured in Ohio by Alkermes.