Center News

Consul general of Ukraine expresses thanks for Chernobyl disaster response

June 15, 2006
Tamara and Mykola Tochytskyi  and Dr. Lee Hartwell

Tamara and Mykola Tochytskyi met with Dr. Lee Hartwell (center) during a visit designed to strengthen relationships between Center and Ukrainian oncologists.

Photo by Barbara Edquist

Ukrainian Consul General Mykola Tochytskyi recently came to campus to express gratitude for the Center's treatment of victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear-power station explosion, including a Russian helicopter pilot who received a bone-marrow transplant at the Center in 1990.

April 26 was the 20th anniversary of the explosion of Chernobyl Reactor No. 4, which blew the thousand-ton cover off the building and unleashed vast amounts of radiation far beyond the disaster site. It remains the worst accident of its kind in history. Thirty people died immediately from the blast, and the long-term health effects on an estimated 5 million exposed to radiation remains unknown.

The San Francisco-based Tochytskyi, in town with his wife Tamara, sought to strengthen relationships between Center and Ukrainian oncologists and explore the possibility of future collaboration.

Tochytskyi met with Dr. Lee Hartwell, president and director, Drs. Scott Davis and John Hansen, and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance's Rebecca Cohen. Davis is the leader of a research team that has spent 16 years investigating the cancer risks posed by this massive public-health crisis.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.