Former Patient-Turned-Top Executive to be Reunited with Shawnee Mission Medical Center Physician who Saved His Life
MERRIAM, Kan. – Thirty years ago Loren Humphrey, MD, removed what was considered by other physicians an inoperable cancerous tumor from Tom Olofson’s neck. Humphrey then took cells from the tumor to create a vaccine called immunotherapy, a procedure ahead of its time in 1980.
Ironically, Humphrey was in the middle of a clinical trial with immunotherapy and melanoma patients at the time of Olofson’s diagnosis. “I used the knowledge from that experimental trial to create a special vaccine for Tom,” he said. “You do what seems impossible and the patient responds as God plans.”
After his cancer diagnosis, Olofson was not welcomed back to his executive level job in the corporate world, as no company wanted to hire a man with terminal cancer.
“We did our best with the cancer diagnosis and knew God would do the rest with the ultimate diagnosis,” said Jeanne Olofson, his wife.
Always the optimist, Olofson took the opportunity to form Epiq Systems – a global company specializing in integrated technology products and services for the legal profession. Today, his success has given Olofson the ability to thank Humphrey and Shawnee Mission Medical Center for giving him the opportunity to build an empire.
The Olofsons recently donated $250,000 for the construction of Shawnee Mission Medical Center’s new Special Addition Maternity Center as a thank you to the hospital that didn’t simply deem the cancer terminal or inoperable.
“Technology has advanced and innovations have changed, but the care at Shawnee Mission Medical Center has always been much more than medicine,” said Jeanne.
The Olofsons will be reunited with Humphrey to thank him for his life-saving work at a reception to honor their monetary donation on Friday, January 29, 5-8 p.m., at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.