When we first introduced you to Ben Rudy, he was completing chemotherapy for a benign brain tumor and studying mechanical engineering. Today Ben is a happily married college graduate living in Florida and working for the Walt Disney Company.
It’s been six years since Ben Rudy last met with staff at the Brain Tumor Center. Six years since he’s stepped foot inside Cincinnati Children’s for an MRI.
“I’m kind of in the post-checkup stage, almost,” he said. “I’ve said goodbye to Cincinnati Children’s.”
And hello to a new life.
A new life years removed from a brain tumor diagnosis and now working as a technical integration analyst for The Walt Disney Company.
Originally, Ben arrived in Florida with dreams of working as an engineer and building roller-coasters. But he decided his best option was to use his computer background in another role working on one of the company’s global internal employee website.
Regardless, he’s just happy to be working for Disney – where he said he can help “make magic in some form or another.” And although he doesn’t work in any of the amusement parks, he and his wife, Nicole, enjoy visiting them often. Whenever possible, he likes to meet with Make-a-Wish families.
“One of my favorite things is to see a Wish family. I tell them I was a wish kid too,” he said. “I ask them ‘How are you doing in your recovery? Is everything OK?’ I love doing things like that. It lets them know they’re not alone.”
Above all else, Ben talks about the importance of maintaining a positive outlook on life. Whether facing a brain tumor diagnosis or overcoming some other obstacle in life, he’s always been an optimist.
“A positive attitude can get you so far – with anything you do,” he said. “You may be going through a hardship now, but that doesn’t mean a better point in time isn’t right around the corner.”
Ben is fortunate to have found his calling. Loving his job and life, he and his wife, Nicole, are living "happily ever after" and making new memories together – but he’ll never forget his time spent at Cincinnati Children’s.
“It was always a nice place to go because you knew the people. And you were treated like a person. They sat down and talked to you and found out what you liked,” he said. “They cared about what you were doing outside the hospital. I always thought that was very nice, that everyone had such care for not just the patient, but the person.”