Turning tragedy of cancer into a mission of hope

A cancer survivor from Springboro turned his tragedy into a special mission of hope for other survivors.


Dave and Diane Scharff with Buzz and Chloe.

Dave Scharff was diagnosed with stage II cancer of the tonsil on Christmas Eve 2009. This avid motorcyclist and investment manager underwent surgery and 6 weeks of radiation therapy. Dave says, “my life was abruptly interrupted. It was very scary to be diagnosed with the “C” word. However, I have a strong faith and was supported by friends and family. I was also surprised by the support I received from my medical team at First Dayton Cancer Care. The way they cared for me gave me true hope that I would be alright.” This support changed his life and the lives of others.

Dave says that during his weeks of radiation treatment “God planted a vision in my heart for a cancer ministry that would support individuals and families dealing with this disease.” As a result CancerHope at SouthBrook Christian Church was born.

To date, this ministry has used over 250 volunteers to serve more than 200 survivors through prayers, cards, meals and gifts. These survivors are from 15 different states and many are not members of the church. This mission is to serve all cancer survivors and to support their caregivers regardless of any religious affiliation.

Dave knows that the love and support he received during his treatment were a big part of his recovery. “It impacted me by the way they genuinely cared for me as an individual and about what I was going through. It was different than going to a doctor’s office where the employees approach their work just as a job. I still have a genuine affinity for everyone at First Dayton Cancer Care.”


Dave with the SouthBrook Cancer Hope team at the annual Cancer Crush 5K event to support the mission.

His advice for anyone with cancer is “to surround yourself with positive people. Find an experienced medical team that offers genuine care and enjoys their work. Allow your friends and family to help carry this burden with you. You can’t do this alone. Seek out the support you need.” CancerHope is the perfect example. Sometimes just knowing that someone out there is thinking about you can have a big impact on your heart and give you the hope you need.”