Sam Tippit

Angie’s Institute

Sam’s Story

Local Man Beats Leukemia for the 2nd Time at Age 23

Chagrin Falls native Sam Tippit was preparing for the opportunity of a lifetime: he was heading to Montana to join a minor league baseball team. But a check-up revealed Sam, already a cancer survivor at age 23, had relapsed.

Sam was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) the most common form of childhood cancer, at age 17. Treatment put him in remission, and he went back to his life. News of his relapse came precisely the same day, six years later – January 22, 2012.

After researching other cancer programs, Sam turned to the experts at the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, which provides access to nationally renowned cancer physicians, advanced technology and Phase I and II clinical trials.

“I felt more comfortable with Rainbow and the success they have had with bone marrow transplants, especially with people my age,” said Sam. “This was life and death for me, and I was more confident in Rainbow than anyone else.”

Sam had a bone marrow transplant on August 1, 2012. Yousif Matloub, MD, Angie Fowler Chair in Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology, and his entire team involved Sam in his own care. They listened to him. They accommodated him. And they made an unimaginable time unbelievably bearable.

“Rainbow was an easy place to be,” says Sam.

Sam’s road to recovery was often uphill; but wrapped in his team’s extraordinary care, he beat cancer once again. At age 27, he is back in remission with a good prognosis. He credits UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital for feeling great – and feeling blessed.