Stephanie Cole

Paying it forward

Stephanie Cole
Photo by Kathy Pickard

Stephanie Cole explains her planned gift to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Support Program (CCSP) this way: “I want to make sure that anyone else who needs the support I had should get it. I truly believe the staff helped with my emotional well-being, sense of calm and ability to better cope with my cancer experience.” Stephanie is director of development at the UNC School of Library and Information Science.

Stephanie labels herself “a poster child for having mammograms. I never missed a single one. One year there was nothing; the next year there was something.” The “something” in 2011 led to a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation.

Stephanie says, “I doubt I’ll ever be able to fully express how grateful I am. I’m blown away by what happens at the hospital and humbled that folks work so hard and care so much. Not only did I have tremendously good medical care, I got gifted emotional support, and I do not take this for granted! I would visit the Resource Center, and they would help me in every way: books, counsel, the Look Good…Feel Better workshop, the Cancer Transitions program for cancer survivors. They’re gifted at listening to you, giving you information and at helping you to settle in after the shock of your diagnosis and then to move forward.”

Stephanie is now enrolled in the UNC Get Real & HEEL program and has begun making a payroll gift to it. The program is a novel exercise and recreation therapy program for women who have completed breast cancer treatment. “Every single one of the folks there are wonderful, and I am deeply grateful for that. I enjoy having the level of physical activity as an integrated part of my life. And I am now beginning the recreational therapy work.”

She offers this thought to anyone thinking about making a gift to UNC Lineberger, “It’s a worthy thing to do. It will make you feel good that you are helping to make sure that the person who has cancer in 10 years is also able to get expert care.”