Charles McDonald knows firsthand what patients need. As a sickle cell patient and a prostate cancer survivor, he has learned how to be an advocate, how to take care of his health and how to heed his body’s warning signs that something may be wrong.
Barb Martin of Raleigh didn’t know that the advocacy work she did after earning her MPH degree from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health would help in her experience with breast cancer.
In 2003, Shirley Colagrossi, who had recently moved to Chapel Hill, had a mammogram. She had her medical records transferred so that her new mammogram could be compared to previous ones. The radiologist detected changes, and asked her to return for more tests. She then learned that, at 68, she had breast cancer.
Polly Hudson likes to say that she has cancer only every four months when she comes for her CT scans. “That’s the only time I want to think about it.”
Robert Johnson always has an annual physical exam and attends the prostate cancer screening offered at his local hospital. “African-American men are more susceptible to prostate cancer, so if I have a problem, I want to catch it early.”
Fayetteville resident Cathy Andrews felt the lump in her breast and immediately called her doctor. A mammogram and ultrasound later, she was escorted into another room to see the doctor. “When they start drawing and measuring, you know something is wrong,” she says.
Graphic and jewelry designer, Nancy Raasch of Chapel Hill accommodates her cancer and lives a full life. She explains, “I always say I have cancer on Thursdays since I go to clinic on Thursdays.” The rest of her time is spent making jewelry, gardening, reading, cooking and walking her dog.
Amber Vance, a young-adult cancer survivor living in Raleigh, is making a difference.
Wanda Wooten spends her Tuesdays as a hospital volunteer in oncology. In February of 2005, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was treated here at UNC under the guidance of Dr. Linda Van Le.
Despite Jack Hyer’s 15 years of work with the American Cancer Society, his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May 2000 still came as a surprise.
A vivacious beauty pageant winner, LaTeacha Coleman, of Fayetteville, didn’t expect to find two lumps in her breast since the 25-year-old had no history of breast cancer in her family.
In 1991, Jason Huckaby was an active college student in his third year at NC State. The chemical engineering major and avid mountain biker thought he had pulled a muscle but the pain didn’t subside. He visited a student health physician who immediately referred him to a Raleigh hospital where he was diagnosed with Stage 1 seminoma, a type of testicular cancer. He underwent surgery and then radiation at a second Raleigh facility.
Nancy Graham, a member of the N.C. Cancer Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Board, says “this Board is a working Board, doing more and more to make a difference for the patients and families. We’re not a Board that sits and says hello to each other every two months. We’re actively involved in many aspects of the cancer hospital.”
For Rivka From and her daughters Carlye and Courtney, genetic testing at UNC provided them with “an opportunity to live an amazing life,” Rivka says.
Reece Holbrook’s parents, Jennifer and Chad, noticed the bruises on the legs of Reece, their son. "We thought it might be the bruises of an active two-year old, " explained Jennifer Holbrook, “but when we saw bruises on his rib cage and small red dots, we took Reece to the pediatrician.” He ran blood tests and suggested that they come to UNC.
Ben Major (PhD, Cancer Cell Biology) was awarded a $225,000 grant from the Gabrielle's Angel Foundation to study the role of WNT signal transduction in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Support Program (CCSP) is now recruiting patients for a new online survey-based research study on the experiences of parents living with advanced cancer.
The ninth annual UNC Multidisciplinary Melanoma Conference brought more than 120 health care professionals from across the state on Thursday, February 12 to learn about the detection and treatment of melanoma.
The latest installment in UNC Health Care's Real Medicine video series features Ashley Burnette, 11-year-old cancer survivor and Patient Ambassador at the North Carolina Children's Hospital.
With new funding, a UNC startup is poised to halt the most devastating effects of chemotherapy.