Nancy Sample of Elizabeth City, NC doesn’t see herself as anyone special — she just wants to do what she can to help find a cure for pancreatic cancer.
Mrs. Sample gave her first small contribution to UNC Lineberger in January, 2006 - a gift to show her support for a cause she believed in.
Her life soon changed when her husband, Murphy, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Murphy had noticed a pain in his back, and because he had had coronary bypass surgery a few years earlier, he sought help from his cardiologist. He was told that it was his gall bladder but he sought a second opinion. A surgeon in Norfolk diagnosed him with pancreatic cancer. In his eighties, Murphy was told that he was too old for surgery. His surgeon referred him to UNC. He was on chemotherapy for nearly a year but passed away in November 2008.
Mrs. Sample set up the Murphy and Nancy Sample Seed Grant for Pancreatic Cancer Research. She feels that medicine has made great advances in so many things, but there isn't enough known about pancreatic cancer. She likes the idea of funding research that is in early stages and might not get the chance to progress without private support.
While the gift to UNC Lineberger carries her husband's name, Mrs. Sample thinks it's more important that her support creates possibilities for new therapies for pancreatic cancer research so that others won't perish.