Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cancer research has lost a true pioneer

Dr. John Robert Ohlfest
1977 - 2013
It is with great sadness that Sara and I pass along the news that Dr. John Ohlfest, the driving force behind the experimental treatment that saved Rilley's life, passed away on January 21st of melanoma; he was 35. It is through John's unwavering dedication and ground breaking research that advances in the treatment of brain tumours have been possible.

Having had the opportunity to communicate with John on several occasions and even to sit and have a discussion over lunch it became apparent that John was not only a brilliant mind, but a genuinely kind and down to earth person.  Despite his busy schedule, he took the time give us a tour of his lab and even to answer our daughters questions.  One of the best impressions we walked away with that day was his love for his family.  When he showed us his office, he just beamed with pride when he spoke of his family.

Needless to say, we were shocked to learn of his passing.  It is incredibly ironic that a man who dedicated his life to finding a cure for brain cancer lost his own battle with another form of this devastating disease.  We can only hope that his life's work continues on as the treatments he developed have already begun to help people and we would really like to see it prove to be a cure.  That would truly be a fitting tribute.

For more insight into the incredible life of Dr. Ohlfest, the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota issued the following press release which also contains a link to his obituary:

Our thoughts are with his family.


  1. This is very sad news. I am sorry for the loss of such a great pioneer! Thank you for your hard work Dr. Ohlfest.

  2. I have a german shephered with a meningioma can you email me a contact number soI can talk to someone like you with experience with this.