Oncologist Len Farol was reviewing cases with fellow doctors last March when a patient named Otsuki, who was suffering from with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, was mentioned. The name attracted Farol’s attention. He quickly discovered the 69-year-old patient was his former Occidental College chemistry professor, Tetsuo Otsuki, nicknamed Dr. O, who had been teaching at the Eagle Rock campus for more than 25 years. A recent story in the Occidental College magazine describes what happened after Farol found out about Otuski’s cancer:
Farol got on the phone immediately with his old professor. Later that day, he visited Otsuki at his home and brought vitamins and packs of Boost, a nutritional drink. “Len’s phone call saved me. He changed my psychology all around,” Otsuki says. “He said, ‘This is treatable. You don’t have to die.’”
Farol, class of 1994, has remained involved as Otsuki works with his doctors to treat his cancer. Next week, on Feb. 15, Occidental College will host a bone marrow drive for Otsuki and others suffering from similar diseases.