Gil Troutman and his son Jeff are smiling for a reason: They know they're lucky. Both men had Hodgkin's disease (a malignancy of the lymph nodes). Both are now cured. On Saturday, they gathered with dozens of other former patients of the Stanford Cancer Center's Lymphoma and Hodgkin's Disease Research Program on the Alumni Lawn to celebrate the 50 years that have passed since Stanford physicians Henry Kaplan, MD, and Saul Rosenberg, MD, initiated the first clinical trials for the then highly lethal Hodgkin's disease. Rosenberg, who arrived at Stanford 51 years ago, treated both Gil and, 25 years later, Jeff. According to Gil from my story in today's Inside Stanford Medicine:
It's very simple. Without Dr. Rosenberg, I would not be here today. It means everything to me: My life, my lifestyle, my family. The ability to watch first my son, and then my grandchildren, grow up.
I don't know if an uncle is the right term, but Dr. Rosenberg is a family friend. He always says the same thing: 'I'm sorry to say that you're in great shape. I'll see you in a year if I haven't retired or died.'
For his part, Rosenberg deflects praise in favor of talking about his relationships with his patients, trainees, colleagues and family:
My time at Stanford has been a blessing... There are three things that someone like me leaves behind: my children, my students and trainees, and my patients and their families. These wonderful results continue to expand and grow over time. Nothing can be more satisfying.
Previously: A family’s grace in crisis and Henry Kaplan’s crusade against Hodgkin’s disease
Photo courtesy Gil and Jeff Troutman