Flo and Charlie Winston

Flo and Charlie Winston of Raleigh both lost loved ones to cancer when they were very young.

The WinstonsCharlie’s mother died of ovarian cancer when he was just 13 years old and Flo’s grandmother died of breast cancer when she was just 15 years old. It was a time when people didn’t talk about cancer, and they were both in the dark about the disease.

These early, personal, and painful experiences of losing loved ones instilled in Flo and Charlie a determination to make a difference in the fight against cancer. For over 50 years, they have been active volunteers - first, with the American Cancer Society in Wake County and then with UNC Lineberger just as the cancer center was launched.

For the last 30 years, Charlie and Flo have been wonderfully effective ambassadors for UNC Lineberger. They have hosted educational events in their Raleigh and beach homes, provided leadership in a campaign to raise money for prostate cancer research, and continue to serve as active members of the UNC Lineberger Board of Visitors.

At Board of Visitor meetings, they have learned from UNC researchers and scientists about the amazing and hopeful progress they are making and the lives that are being saved. “We love the meetings and reading the material from Lineberger that explains all the discoveries. Research is the key to slowing down this disease.”

The Winstons understand the importance of private gifts in accelerating the pace of discovery and have chosen to support Lineberger with generous annual gifts and a charitable remainder trust.

When Charlie and Flo toured the N.C. Cancer Hospital, they were overwhelmed. “It is fantastic. It envelops you in a caring atmosphere,” said Charlie. “They didn’t miss anything when they designed it.” This is high praise from a man who has overseen the construction of countless hotels and restaurants throughout his career!

The Winstons are true blue Tar Heels. The first Winston came to UNC in 1844! George Tayloe Winston was President of the University. But Flo and Charlie are the first to affirm that the N.C. Cancer Hospital is not just UNC. Its mission is to serve all North Carolinians. They worked hard to help get the hospital approved by the legislature in 2004, and they have been proud of the care this new facility provides to patients from all of our state’s 100 counties.

"Regardless of their political affiliation, our legislators recognized how important the N.C. Cancer Hospital would be for all North Carolinians."