Rodriguez named Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man of the Year

Personal care and dedication to his patients leads to recognition.
Rodriguez named Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man of the Year

Cesar Rodriguez, M.D.

There are compelling reasons why Cesar Rodriguez, M.D., has been named Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year.

For one, the oncologist and hematologist who serves as an assistant professor of medicine in the University of Louisville Division of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation raised more money for the society than any other person raised within the 10-week period that ended May 30, according to the society’s executive director, Shane Stuber.

"Dr. Rodriguez raised over $32,000," Stuber said. "He did that by hosting a couple of events, using social media, running an email campaign, and getting sponsorships. KentuckyOne was one of the sponsors."

For another, according to Stuber, Dr. Rodriguez is devoted to patients.

"I have been at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center on Saturday afternoons, and I have seen Dr. Rodriguez making special rounds," Stuber said. "He puts his patients' needs above his own. There are great doctors, and there are special doctors. Dr. Rodriguez is both."

The young physician focuses on bone marrow transplants and treating blood malignancies. The native of Mexico came to Louisville five years ago to complete a fellowship and a few years later he began to partner with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society when he saw how much the society did.

"All of my patients have benefited from the society, whether it be from help with co-pays for medications, or help with gas money, or with education,” Rodriguez said. "I wanted to return something to the society for all they have done for cancer patients."

Dr. Rodriguez' relatives are all back in Mexico. That makes his patients mean even more to him.

"The nice thing about my specialty is that is gives me the opportunity to build a strong bond with my patients and their families," Rodriguez said. "There comes a time when they see me as if I'm part of their family instead of just being their doctor."

And since they're like his family away from home, Dr. Rodriguez grieves over every untimely death, and rejoices with every remission.

"The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society funds research to help find cures for blood cancers," Rodriguez said. "I am very involved with working on clinical research, and I use some investigational treatments on our patients. In several cases, these study drugs have saved their lives."

Dr. Rodriguez has seen certain research medicines work so well that, "in some cases, there has been a dramatic turning point to their advantage. Maybe the drug cures them—or sometimes it allows them to live long enough to enjoy things they never would have imagined if not for these treatments. We’ve had patients get married. We’ve had patients watch their babies grow.

"Obviously there are cases where we don’t see positive outcomes. But seeing these miracles keeps everybody going."

About the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Kentucky

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Kentucky serves 4,000 adult and pediatric patients a year. Funds raised pay for financial assistance for patients and families, support groups for patients and family members, education and research. To donate to the society, contact Shane Stuber at, or call 502-584-8490.

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