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Patient appreciates convenience, care of downtown hospital

IU Health Simon Cancer Center

Patient appreciates convenience, care of downtown hospital

A pulled muscle led this outdoor enthusiast to the care and diagnosis he needed at IU Health Simon Cancer Center.

By IU Health Senior Journalist, TJ Banes,

He was 36 when Aaron Kohn was diagnosed with Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The American Cancer Society reports the average age at diagnosis for CML is around 64 years. About half of the cases are diagnosed in people 65 and older.

It’s estimated that about 8,860 new cases of CML will be diagnosed this year (5,120 men and 3,740 women). CML starts when cells in the body grow out of control, and can become part of cancer that spreads throughout the body.

Kohn was diagnosed in 2008 with a slow-growing variant. He may not have discovered it all if it hadn’t been for a pulled muscle.

“Hindsight is 20-20 and I was probably sick for several months prior. I was losing weight and bruising,” said Kohn, who is in the care of Dr. Larry Cripe at IU Health Simon Cancer Center. During his initial doctor visit for his pulled muscle, Kohn received lab results showing an elevated white blood cell count. He went directly to ER and was admitted to IU Health Methodist Hospital. A bone biopsy confirmed his diagnosis.

Initial treatments of chemotherapy resulted in liver and cardiac issues. Kohn was in the care of Dr. Naga Chalasani, who specializes in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Dr. Richard Kovacs, who specializes in cardiology.

“One of the things I like about Dr. Cripe is that he surrounds himself with the best team members,” said Kohn, who ended up having cardiac ablation. “I felt like I was surrounded by the dream team.”

Kohn grew up in Michigan City, Ind. and studied technology at Purdue University. He has served as the Chief Information Officer for Young & Laramore advertising agency since 1999. He lives downtown, works downtown, and his wife, Kristin Kohn, is the owner of “Silver in the City,” located on downtown’s Mass Avenue. They have one son who attends Butler University and a daughter who attends Herron High School.

“I love getting my care from a community campus. I walk to Methodist Hospital and ride my bike to Dr. Cripe’s office,” said Kohn. “I grew up in a science-based household. I had the ‘why moments’ when I was in ER but when you’re in a major metropolitan city with so much quality care you need to allow yourself to grieve but to also understand that there are people there who know how to treat you,” said Kohn. “I see a lot of rural people coming in for treatments and I make it a point to connect with them because this is my home. I tell them they are in the right place and I promise them they will get the best care. There is a community network in our city of healthcare but a teaching hospital is a draw because we receive care from people who are teaching the next generation about healthcare.”

Aaron Kohn kayaking

In his spare time, Kohn enjoys spending time on his “mini homestead” smoking meats and briskets and enjoying family time. He is an avid woodworker and loves spending time outdoors.

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