Donning a hard hat and protective gear, Susan Hudson was among the first to tour the building site of the N.C. Cancer Hospital, then under construction. It took a bold visionary to appreciate what wonders the space would ultimately hold. A task that proved to be no challenge for Susan, who immediately noted: "I have a sense this place is poised to take on the cancer battle for people of our state. The building exudes strength and power, just like the people who will fill its clinics and rooms in a few months."
No stranger to the plight of cancer patients, Susan will never forget the heartbreaking weeks and months by her mother's side as she was dying of pancreatic cancer. It became important to Susan and her children to play a part in finding answers to this devastating disease. A native of Wilson, Susan is known for her passionate support of many causes. She was a pioneer in establishing a domestic violence center in Wilson. For years, her own home served as a sanctuary for battered women and their children fleeing abusive relationships. The community turned to Susan for help with many important projects, including restoration of historic buildings. There is even a marine biology exploration vessel trolling the coast of eastern North Carolina that bears Susan's name.
When UNC Lineberger turned to Susan for support of its research efforts, she did not hesitate for long. Always up to speed on the latest breakthroughs in the cancer arena, Susan and her family had looked at several cancer centers as prospective beneficiaries. After meeting with Dr. Shelley Earp and other faculty members, they felt strongly that UNC Lineberger was a "rising star" worthy of investment. Susan remarks that "there are many fine cancer institutions, but what puts Lineberger in a league of its own is their bold approach to finding cures. Add to the equation talent, determination and optimism and you have a formula for success that I for one, want to get behind. A big plus for us is that Lineberger has a culture of collaboration, internally as well as with other centers."
In a timely gesture to support future scientific leaders, Susan and her family gifted a life insurance policy intended to underwrite research by talented investigators at a critical stage in their discovery process. The Hudson family's intent to shore up promising research is indeed a bold move to boost "rising stars" to further heights in their quest to find cures for cancer.