27th Annual Lineberger Club features longtime UNC fundraiser, cancer survivor Jamie May

“The UNC Lineberger medical staff, volunteers, and donors who have made UNC a leading center for cancer care and research have saved my life and those of many, many others. They tend their garden with remarkable dedication and extraordinary competency. Indeed, medicine, as practiced in the N.C. Cancer Hospital, is a North Carolina treasure.”

jamie and lanier mayInspiring words spoken by cancer survivor Jamie May, former senior associate dean and executive director of the UNC Arts and Sciences Foundation.  Nearly 300 UNC Lineberger supporters gathered at the Carolina Inn to hear the remarks of Jamie and his wife, Lanier Brown May, on February 1, 2014 during the 27th Annual Lineberger Club event.  

Jamie and Lanier have a long-time connection with UNC. Jamie served 13 years with the UNC Arts and Sciences Foundation, and Lanier is a UNC regional development officer responsible for the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council and the Charlotte area.  When Jamie was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2005, they came straight to UNC Lineberger, where they knew Jamie would receive the latest and best treatment. 

During the event, the Mays shared their story of Jamie’s treatment at UNC and the people who helped them along the way. While praising the bright, modern facilities at the cancer hospital, Lanier made it clear, “it’s the people who make it hum.”

Jamie and Lanier spoke of their gratitude for UNC Lineberger Associate Director and Bone Marrow Transplant Program Director Dr. Tom Shea, Associate Professor of Medicine Dr. Peter Voorhees and the other members of Jamie’s UNC treatment team. Jamie detailed the unfailing and devoted support of physician assistants John Strader and Alicia Pinto and the invaluable guidance of UNC pharmacist Kamakshi Rao.

Lanier spoke movingly about finding blessings even in the difficult journey through her husband’s cancer treatment.  In addition to the support of family and friends, she noted that many of those blessings were the generous people and compassionate clinicians sitting in the room enjoying the brunch.

When a friend or loved one is diagnosed with cancer, people often ask what they can do to support the patient and the family.  Jamie and Lanier have an answer.

“Casseroles, notes of support – all of that is great.  But the big picture of what we can do collectively is to give back,” said Lanier.  She also noted that UNC “is truly a public and private enterprise.  Your time, your resources, your money, your heart – all of it makes a difference, and we are living proof of that.”

Jamie and Lanier have demonstrated the impact that can be made when individuals come together to give back. Lanier spoke with pride about their collaboration with UNC on a campus-wide bone marrow drive.  The drive, called Be the Match, was the first of its kind at UNC and successfully typed 350 new people to the bone marrow donor registry in one day.

Each speaker at the Lineberger Club Brunch and Basketball Game, including UNC Lineberger Director Dr. Ned Sharpless, expressed thanks for the steadfast support of everyone present.  People like Jamie May are indeed living proof that our donors make a real difference in the lives of the people of North Carolina. 

Each year, UNC Lineberger hosts the Lineberger Club Brunch and Basketball Game, inviting its most loyal and generous supporters.  UNC Lineberger is grateful to Lee-Moore Capital Company, Dual Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning and Hardee’s for making the 27th annual event possible.