Betty has been both a “cheerleader” and a “star.” Her mother died of colon cancer 20 years ago, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer 13 years ago. Betty expresses gratitude for the early detection of her cancer by a mammogram at UNC and for her “excellent treatment from an outstanding comprehensive team headed by Dr. Lisa Carey. My experience made me want to give back as a Lineberger volunteer.”
Betty first volunteered when her long-time friend, Missy Julian-Fox, created “Tickled Pink,” a highly successful awareness and fundraising event for UNC Lineberger that has expanded in recent years to “Turning the Town Pink” during the month of October.
Betty explains, “These events create an energy, an awareness of what UNC Lineberger is doing to advance research, that lends courage to patients and survivors.”
When the N.C. Cancer Hospital opened in 2009, Betty and Marilyn Koenig asked UNC Hospitals’ volunteer coordinator Linda Bowles how they might help. “Linda suggested the “Hospitali-Tea” cart service being organized by volunteer Wanda Wooten, so Marilyn and I began volunteering with the cart one morning a week. We work in tandem with infusion floor volunteer Jane Rogers Jones. We all agree that it’s the best volunteer job we’ve ever had.”
“So many of the volunteers have either had cancer themselves or are close to someone who has had cancer. We’ve experienced some of the same issues that patients and families are dealing with and are there to lend support and encouragement.”
“Patients often come to the infusion clinic on the same day of the week, and we get to know them. It’s extremely rewarding for us to meet so many special stars and cheerleaders.” Betty continues, “It fills us with Tar Heel pride to observe the superb level of care provided by UNC’s exceptional medical staff and to witness firsthand the compassion and tireless efforts of UNC’s dedicated oncology nurses.”
“For me, the letters NCCH represent not only “North Carolina Cancer Hospital” but also “North Carolina Caring Healers.” It’s a privilege for our volunteer teams to accompany these trailblazing healers, stars, and cheerleaders on their wellness journey.”
Betty also enjoys volunteering as an ESL tutor with Burmese refugees and serving dinner for families of pediatric patients on Tuesday evenings with the Parents’ Night Out program at N.C. Children’s Hospital.