Grateful patient gives back to support ovarian cancer research

Grateful for the care UNC Lineberger's Linda Van Le, MD, provided her, Cindy Carroll partnered with her friends and daughter Terri Yates to host Curated 4 Ovarian Cancer to raise funds for ovarian cancer research at UNC Lineberger. The evening featured a five-course dinner with wine pairing and a silent and live auction.

Grateful patient gives back to support ovarian cancer research click to enlarge (Left to right) Linda Van Le, MD, and Cindy Carroll at Curated 4 Ovarian Cancer, an event Carroll hosted to raised funds for ovarian cancer research at UNC Lineberger.

There are many ways to show gratitude, but one patient took it to a new level, using her ties to the wedding industry and a tight-knit group of friends to hold an event to benefit ovarian cancer research and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

With the help of her friends and daughter Terri Yates, Cindy Carroll recently held Curated 4 Ovarian Cancer at Shady Wagon Farm, a popular venue for weddings and celebrations, in New Hill, North Carolina. The gala evening featured a five-course dinner with wine pairing and a silent and live auction.

Carroll said she was inspired to hold a fundraising event because she was grateful to her gynecologic oncologist Linda Van Le, MD, and everyone at the N.C. Cancer Hospital, the clinical arm of UNC Lineberger. “It was the care that I got from everybody at UNC and realizing the dedication they have for patient care. I felt like I wanted to do something to give back,” Carroll said.

Carroll said she was thrilled when she found out Van Le also did cancer research, because the proceeds from her event could benefit researchers working to cure gynecological cancers. “I realized I could do something for her, since she’d done so much for me,” Carroll said.

Van Le, the Leonard D. Palumbo Distinguished Professor of Gynecologic Oncology, spoke at the event and said personal patient commitments like Curated are a great way to support cancer care and research. “I’m interested in bringing new treatment opportunities to patients with gynecological cancers,” she said. “Ovarian cancer is rare but lethal. There is a lot of exciting research ongoing, and funds would support clinical trials, and explore other avenues for treatment.”

In addition to Van Le, Carroll said she found strength from her local community, as well. “I was so humbled by all of the support we got, not only from the wedding community but from the community at large out here; it was heartwarming. Everybody participated.”

Carroll aspires to make Curated an annual event and to increase attendance next year, but says her greatest hope is to see a cure for ovarian cancer. “I want women who are unfortunate enough to have ovarian cancer to have the hope for a cure. Earlier detection and then a cure.”

Van Le agreed, stressing that early detection, use of genetics and the novel use of available therapies can make a real difference for patients with gynecological cancers.

“This has been an exciting year in that we finally have some drugs available whose effectiveness is based on genetics. There is lots of room for research in this area,” Van Le said.

Despite the physical and emotional toll of cancer, Carroll said she is thankful for the blessings that have come her way. “If I could give it back, I wouldn’t give back the cancer. It’s been life-changing,” she said. “You’ll never go back to being the way you were before; it changes you in so many positive ways.”