Something Blue

Brook Zickus’ wedding bouquet featured an unusual “something blue”: a UNC Lineberger ribbon-foot pin.

L-R: Melody Searl, Brook Zickus
L-R: Melody Searl, Brook Zickus

Brook’s mother, Melody Searl, was diagnosed in August with breast cancer. Melody says, “I was diagnosed in August, two months out from Brook’s wedding to Jeremy. When I asked my gynecologist at the Outer Banks Hospital where he would send his wife, he recommended UNC.”

Outer Banks Hospital is part of the UNC Cancer Network led by Dr. Tom Shea. The UNC Cancer Network is a partnership among community physicians and clinics to move research into practice and provide citizens with the best cancer services available. UNC Cancer Network staff assisted Melody with scheduling her initial appointment and with finding local accommodations.

Working with the UNC nurse navigator at the Outer Banks Hospital, Melody came to UNC and met her team: surgeon Dr. Keith Amos, reconstructive surgeon Dr. Clara Lee and medical oncologist Dr. Carey Anders.

Melody underwent a double mastectomy with Dr. Amos. “The day after my surgery, Dr. Amos came in and said everything went well. He explained that he always gives his breast cancer patients a UNC Tar Heel breast cancer pin. He gave one to me, to Brook and to my husband. We were thrilled to have a memento.

“Brook made her own bridal bouquet, and since we live on the Outer Banks, it was a beach-theme bouquet. She included the pin as her “something blue.’”

Brook says, “I am so grateful for everything UNC has done to heal my mom. We were so close to my wedding day when we received her cancer diagnosis. We considered postponing, but it wasn't what mom wanted. I was really worried about whether she would be able to fully enjoy this once in a lifetime event. Drs. Lee and Amos promised me that my mom would dance at my wedding, and she did!”