Local man beats cancer, heart and lung disease - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Local man beats cancer, heart and lung disease

Posted: Updated:
Rob Ross was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 18. Rob Ross was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 18.

As a high school senior, a Michigan man was diagnosed with cancer. He received treatment and survived, but had no idea the cancer treatment would nearly kill him 20 years later.

This story starts in 1984 when Rob Ross of Brighton was 18 and diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, cancer of the white blood cells. He received radiation and chemotherapy and began his married life cancer free.

As Rob was living a happy life for 25 years, he didn't realize that the chemo and radiation had destroyed his lungs and heart valve.

He says getting up the stairs would take 45 minutes, and he was wearing oxygen at all hours of the day to help him breathe.

Rob needed a lung transplant and a heart valve repair, but doctors can't fix one without the other being healthy.
 
"Rob had extensive scarring of his chest. He also had an aortic valve that needed a repair, and this can be done at very few places, that both procedures can be done at the same time," Dr. Marie Budev of the Cleveland Clinic. That's where Rob finally found hope.

There, they tell him they can repair his heart valve and transplant new lungs at the same time, but it's complicated.  
 
"When you get into a more complex case such as Rob's, where's there has been radiation to the chest, complications of doing a double lung transplant are there, including damage to some of the nerves that stimulate the diaphragm or the stomach. And we could have problems after transplant," says Budev.

Rob underwent the surgery, and it was successful.  

One year later, Rob realizes he beat cancer, heart disease and lung disease with help from family, doctors, and medications. But Rob believes the one person who really saved him was the stranger he'll never know.
 
"I'm very, very thankful that their donor made that generous gift. It's enabled me to live. I don't think I would have had too much longer without the transplant," Rob says.

Rob and his wife, Janell, are so grateful to the person who donated lungs. They are encouraging everyone they know to become organ donors through the Donate Life Coalition of Michigan.

LINK: Click here for more information on the Donate Life Coalition of Michigan

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • M-1 rail project to begin

    M-1 rail project to begin

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-07-22 12:31:11 GMT
    Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit will soon be shut down for four months.
    Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit will soon be shut down for four months.
  • Recalled: Fresh fruits sold at Trader Joe's, Costco & Sam's Club

    Recalled: Fresh fruits sold at Trader Joe's, Costco & Sam's Club

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:37 AM EDT2014-07-22 11:37:54 GMT
    A California company is recalling fresh fruits nationwide due to possible listeria contamination.
    A California company is recalling fresh fruits nationwide due to possible listeria contamination.
  • Pensioners approve Detroit bankruptcy plan

    Pensioners approve Detroit bankruptcy plan

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:39 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:39:04 GMT
    The city of Detroit says workers and retirees have approved pension cuts, a crucial step to emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The city reported results Monday after two months of balloting ended July 11. A judge still must hold a trial to determine if Detroit's overall bankruptcy plan is fair and feasible, but support from retirees is vital.
    The city of Detroit says workers and retirees have approved pension cuts, a crucial step to emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The city reported results Monday after two months of balloting ended July 11. A judge still must hold a trial to determine if Detroit's overall bankruptcy plan is fair and feasible, but support from retirees is vital.
  • Deena CentofantiMore>>

  • Frustrated by Health Insurance Exchanges? Experts say 'relax'

    Frustrated by Health Insurance Exchanges? Experts say 'relax'

    Thursday, October 3 2013 6:30 PM EDT2013-10-03 22:30:09 GMT
    The Affordable Care Act kicked in on Tuesday and not only has it been the subject of fierce political battles, but the online marketplace has been bogged down with technical problems.
    The Affordable Care Act kicked in on Tuesday and not only has it been the subject of fierce political battles, but the online marketplace has been bogged down with technical problems.
  • The dangers of diabetes, how you can rate your risk

    The dangers of diabetes, how you can rate your risk

    Tuesday, March 26 2013 5:24 PM EDT2013-03-26 21:24:38 GMT
    Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have no idea their bodies are having a tough time controlling their blood sugar.
    Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have no idea their bodies are having a tough time controlling their blood sugar.
  • Study: For heart health, food is medicine too

    Study: For heart health, food is medicine too

    Tuesday, December 4 2012 4:11 PM EST2012-12-04 21:11:01 GMT
    You have one heart attack and then take medication to prevent another one, but there's new research that says what you eat is a very powerful tool in preventing another heart attack.
    You have one heart attack and then take medication to prevent another one, but there's new research that says what you eat is a very powerful tool in preventing another heart attack.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices