Tailgate Dollars at Work

2017 Tailgate Goal:

This year, we’re asking for a miracle. Help us raise double the amount of what we raised last year and SCLT will officially have hit The Million Dollar Mark!


  • Real-time imaging system with specimen verification that can
    possibly make same-day biopsies a reality
  • Just received FDA Approval in March 2017, making Stef’s Center
    one of the first to offer this technology in Central Ohio
  • With the potential to reduce procedure time by up to 25%,
    will improve workflow, productivity and reduce the number of
    technologists needed for biopsies
  • Increases accuracy of breast cancer detection, by using a drug to target areas where cancers are growing
  • Provides the ability to evaluate difficult to interpret ultrasounds and mammograms
  • Reduces procedure time from a 45-minute- MRI, down to 8 minutes
  • Can be combined with Stef Center’s existing tomosynthesis (3D mammography) machine, which we purchased in 2012, for more accurate detection
  • Serves as a potential substitute for patients who need, but cannot undergo a breast MRI, and for those with dense breasts
  • With only one other center in Ohio offering this technology, Stef’s Center will be the only one in Central Ohio to offer this technology
  • Laser lights significantly improves targeting of prone radiation therapy
  • MRI-guided positioning ensures precise patient positioning that can be replicated on radiation therapy treatment machines
  • Stef’s Center will be one of only five in the nation to have this therapy.

2016 Tailgate: Near Infrared Fluorescence Camera

Up to 40% of cancer patients may develop Lymphedema following Breast Cancer Surgery, leaving them with troublesome side effects including heaviness, swelling, pain and recurrent infections.  The James and its Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center is one of just a few hospitals in the US that can offer hope to these patients through a surgery called Lymphovenous Bypass. The success of this procedure relies on the availability of a Near Infrared Fluorescence Camera, used to visualize these sub-millimeter sized channels. Stef’s Celebrate Life Tailgate 2016 is largely focused on purchasing a high-tech infrared imaging device that enables surgeons to identify viable lymphatic channels before and during this surgical bypass procedure.


With support from generous donors like you, we will purchase a second camera for Stef’s Center, and an upgrade for the current camera that will positively impact hundreds of patients at Stef’s Center as they heal after Breast Cancer Surgery.

Unite with us as we support Stefanie Spielman’s wish to Celebrate Life and Continue to Fight and Beat Breast Cancer!

Click here to make a Donation. 

Order tickets for this year’s tailgate, here. 

2015 Tailgate Results: $175,000 to purchase Digital Tomosynthesis Machines, Update New Dressing Rooms

The 2015 Stef’s Celebrate Life Tailgate (SCLT) was no exception in our efforts to roll up our sleeves to bring in the needed funds to support the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center (SSCBC) to understand, treat and cure breast cancer. To all of you who braved the weather, and to those who financially contributed or thought about us in spirit…
Stef’s Celebrate Life Tailgate 2015 raised $175,000.

We raised enough funds to purchase C-View Software, the latest software for Digital Tomosynthesis Machines at The Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, which will improve the imaging process by creating a 2D mammogram from images taken for the 3D tomosynthesis. This exciting technology reduces the radiation 45.3% compared to current practices. Further, the C-view mammogram retains heightened detail from the tomosynthesis images. These benefits promote our vision and are extremely impactful to thousands of women getting screening mammograms or confronting the challenges of breast cancer.

2014 Tailgate Results: $120,000 to purchase Prone Breast Radiation Board


Stef’s Celebrate Life Tailgate raised over $120,000, exceeding our goal of $100,000. These dollars provided the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center with a check to purchase a Prone Breast Radiation Therapy Board to support the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center (SSCBC) to understand, treat and cure breast cancer.  Providing this vital breast cancer treatment tool to the SSCBC will make this one of only two Prone Breast Radiation Boards in use in Ohio.

A Prone Breast Radiation Board is an extremely critical tool in ensuring that radiation is targeted to a precise area, lessening the chance for radiation to reach the heart and lungs.  The open design of this board provides full access and visibility to the breast, allowing targeted treatment from multiple angles. The purchase of this prone board continues our success of purchasing innovative equipment for the SSCBC.

“The prone board improves the targeting of the radiation therapy we can offer many patients and makes it safer by reducing exposure to the heart and lung. These benefits enable us to offer treatment approaches that preserve the breast to more women with early cancers. We know that no cancer is routine and targeted therapies like these improve the outcomes for patients in our care. Our expertise and experience in prone therapy is another reason that the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center at the OSUCCC – James is uniquely positioned in the greater Central Ohio region.”

Julia White MD
Vice Chair of Clinical Research
Director of Breast Radiation Oncology
Klotz Chair for Cancer Research
The James, OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center

2013 SCLT Tailgate Results: Software for Digital Tomosynthesis Machine

In 2013, the SCLT tailgate funds allowed us to provide the SSCBC with an ultrasound machine that brings care to an additional 1800 patients or more per year

  • In 2012, the SCLT tailgate funds brought a Digital Tomosynthesis Machine to the SSCBC, which creates a 3-dimensional picture of the breast and aids in breast cancer detection.

The new ultrasound machine will provide doctors at the SSCBC with the technology they need to find cancer at its earliest stage of growth. The ultrasound machine helps doctors determine if a biopsy is needed, and reduces the critical wait time for patients. For more information, watch this WBNS 10TV interview with Dr. William Farrar, the director of the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center.

Digital tomosynthesis (pronounced toh-moh-SIN-thah-sis) creates a 3-dimensional picture of the breast using x-rays. Currently, digital tomosynthesis is available only for research purposes. Digital tomosynthesis of the breast is different from a standard mammogram in the same way a CT scan of the chest is different from a standard chest x-ray. Or think of the difference between a ball and a circle. One is 3-dimensional, the other is flat.

Mammography usually takes two x-rays of each breast from different angles: top to bottom and side to side. The breast is pulled away from the body, compressed, and held between two glass plates to ensure that the whole breast is viewed. Regular mammography records the pictures on film, and digital mammography records the pictures on the computer. The images are then read by a radiologist. Breast cancer, which is denser than most healthy nearby breast tissue, appears as irregular white areas — sometimes called shadows.

Mammograms are very good, but they have some significant limitations:

  • The compression of the breast that’s required during a mammogram can be uncomfortable. Some women hate it, and it could deter them from getting the test.
  • The compression also causes overlapping of the breast tissue. A breast cancer can be hidden in the overlapping tissue and not show up on the mammogram.
  • Mammograms take only one picture, across the entire breast, in two directions: top to bottom and side to side. It’s like standing on the edge of a forest, looking for a bird somewhere inside. To find the bird, it would be better to take 10 steps at a time through the forest and look all around you with each move.

Digital tomosynthesis is a new kind of test that’s trying to overcome these three big issues. It takes multiple x-ray pictures of each breast from many angles. The breast is positioned the same way it is in a conventional mammogram, but only a little pressure is applied — just enough to keep the breast in a stable position during the procedure. The x-ray tube moves in an arc around the breast while 11 images are taken during a 7-second examination. Then the information is sent to a computer, where it is assembled to produce clear, highly focused 3-dimensional images throughout the breast.

 2012 SCLT Tailgate Results: $160,000 for Ultra Sound Machine

We are pleased to announce that the SCLT 2012 tailgate raised enough funds for the SSCBC to purchase an ultrasound machine that shortens that critical wait time for patients, giving doctors the critical data they need to determine if a biopsy is necessary. When cancer is present, the ultrasound helps doctors find cancer in its earliest stages. We are pleased to say that this ultrasound machine is already in use at the SSCBC, allowing them the potential to see an additional 1700 patients or more per year.

“At the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, our philosophy is to provide patients with as much information as possible during their visit to our facility. Patients and their families are then able to make informed decisions and contribute to establishing their unique plan of care. The ultrasound machine donated by Stef’s Celebrate Life Tailgate has directly increased our capacity by at least 7 ultrasound exams each day. Furthermore, it offers the latest technology to help our experts rule out breast cancer or tell us that a biopsy is necessary. Community support, such as the extreme generosity we receive from the Tailgate, is increasingly important to us as we grapple with both diminished research funding from the National Cancer Institute and increased cost pressures. Please accept my personal thanks, as well as a thank you from our entire team and our many patients and families who are so grateful for your ongoing contributions!” Dr. William B. Farrar, the director of the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.


About Stefanie Spielman

Stefanie Spielman grew up in northeastern Ohio and married her high school sweetheart after they graduated from The Ohio State University. Her husband, Chris, was an All-American football player and went on to have an all-pro career in the NFL for over ten years.

The Spielmans’ long battle with breast cancer began when Stefanie Stefanie found a lemon-sized lump during a self breast exam in 1998. The Spielmans’ strong belief in family led Chris to take a year off from football to stay home and care for his family, bringing them unexpected national attention. By publicly talking about breast cancer, more and more people learned about the disease and the importance of education and prevention. Stefanie and Chris realized they could use their unique situation to do more.

The couple started raising money and awareness shortly after Stefanie’s diagnosis of stage II breast cancer at age 30. During the next decade, Stefanie publicly shared her diagnosis, treatment and participation in clinical trials as she worked to raise awareness about the importance of having regular mammograms and the need to fund breast cancer research.

What started as a quest by Chris and Stefanie Spielman to raise $250,000 for breast cancer research has been embraced by the central Ohio community -so much so- that more than $10 million has been raised to support vital breast cancer research and patient assistance at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

Learn more about Stef and Chris’ story…
To date, the Spielman funds have raised more than $7.9 million to support patient care and the groundbreaking research happening at the Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

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