Oregon Health & Science University physicians Brian Druker, M.D., and Craig Nichols, M.D., will carry the Olympic torch through Portland today as a reward from grateful patients they have treated. Also, the Olympic flame will be on display at Doernbecher Children's Hospital immediately following tonight's run.
Druker is scheduled to carry the Olympic torch at approximately 5:50 p.m. on a leg that starts near OMSI at the intersection of S.E. 3rd Ave. and S.E. Clay St. and finishes at S.E. Grand Ave. and S.E. Madison St. He was nominated by more than two dozen leukemia patients. Druker, JELD-WEN Chair for Leukemia Research at the OHSU Cancer Institute, is best known for his leading role in the development of Gleevec, a pill that has proved effective at fighting chronic myelogenous leukemia and is being tested on other cancers. As a physician, Druker led the clinical trials of the drug and has treated more than 250 patients with Gleevec.
Nichols, DeArmond Chair of Oncology and associate director of the OHSU Cancer Institute, was nominated by three-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, whom Nichols successfully treated for testicular cancer in 1996. Nichols will carry the torch shortly after Druker, at approximately 6:03 p.m., beginning at N.E. Grand and N.E. Davis St. and continuing north on Grand to N.E. Hoyt St.
Across the country, 11,500 torchbearers will carry the Olympic flame through 46 states en route to the Winter Games in Salt Lake City next month. Official torchbearers were nominated by family members, friends and colleagues who wrote an essay of 50 to 100 words explaining how the nominees "embodied the Olympic spirit and provided inspiration to their communities." Each local organizing committee waded through the 210,000 total nominations to choose the several dozen or so who will carry the torch in their areas.