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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

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Wesley Ruth

Wesley Ruth

Photo courtesy of: Jack Jeffery

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Wesley Ruth overcomes medical hardship to pursue degree


Ohio University Chillicothe campus student Wesley Ruth is especially looking forward to the first day of fall quarter on Sept. 6 when he can focus on his academics and not the diagnosis of cancer and the ensuing chemotherapy treatments.

His college experience has been a life-changing experience. The Washington Court House, Ohio native began his college career at Wright State University, but had a rough start when he continually became sick in early 2009, which impacted his academic performance.

Ruth’s sickness was diagnosed as leukemia. After approximately two and a half years of chemotherapy treatment, he is back on track and looking forward to the upcoming academic year.

"Aug. 3 was my last date of taking chemotherapy, and I’m proud to say that I’m done with chemo, a sophomore in good standing and eligible to apply to the Patton College of Education and Human Services at the end of fall quarter," Ruth said.

As expected, Ruth was stunned when he found out that his lack of energy was because of cancer.

"When I heard the diagnosis, I did not know what to think. I did not expect to hear that," he said.

Ruth then dropped out of Wright State during spring quarter 2009 to focus on the chemotherapy treatments, which he underwent in Columbus. Once he adjusted to the chemotherapy treatments, Ruth eventually transferred to the Chillicothe campus, enrolling fall quarter 2010.

"I transferred to OU-C mainly because of the location, affordable tuition and because the campus offered a major I was interested in," said Ruth, who is majoring in middle childhood education with a concentration and math and science.

"I was only able to manage taking one or two classes at a time because I still did not have much energy," Ruth explained. "Fortunately, people on campus were very helpful. My adviser, Martha Tanedo, was always willing to see me, and instructors were cooperative and worked with me if I needed to leave early to go to an appointment. Everyone on campus was very understanding, flexible and supportive."

“If it weren’t for several professors and Martha Tanedo, I wouldn’t have been able to finish one quarter in college, be in good standing academically or get back on my feet academically.”

Tanedo, coordinator of student support, said, "Despite his challenges, Wes constantly creates a positive attitude for himself. He overcomes barriers and never gives up. He has never been one to complain. Instead, he is very stoic, cheerful and pleasant."

Ruth has seen his perspective change through his ordeal.

"Before, I went through life kind of jokingly, but this put things in perspective. I am better able to visualize goals, and I am more serious now," he said.