For more than 10 years, Cecil and Linda Sewell of Raleigh, NC, have maintained a consistent and generous commitment to helping fight cancer with innovation. “There are so many bright people with so many bright ideas—but they have to get on the menu for federal funding,” said Cecil.
Year after year, their gifts to the UNC Lineberger Seed Grant
Program have propelled forward essential, early-stage cancer research.
In an increasingly competitive funding environment, this support not only translates to new discoveries, but also gives UNC physicians and scientists a competitive edge.
“With the cutbacks in federal funding, I think the Seed Grant
Program is more important than ever,” explained Cecil. “We believe giving directly to the researchers makes the greatest impact. It’s pretty amazing what goes on in Chapel Hill.”
Cecil and Linda’s involvement with UNC Lineberger traces back
nearly two decades. Over the years they have supported their alma mater’s cancer center in a variety of ways—from Linda making handmade decorations for an awareness event in their community to serving together on the Board of Visitors.
As volunteers, they gained a deeper understanding of the science behind the discoveries and had the opportunity to build relationships with seed grant researchers. “We were intrigued with the informative discussions at the board meetings,” said Linda. “You really feel the passion of the presenters.”
Although Cecil and Linda have not faced cancer personally, the
disease ranks among their top philanthropic priorities. “We have been fortunate that we haven’t been touched as closely as many,” said Cecil. However, watching loved ones struggle with cancer has reinforced their dedication to UNC’s cancer mission.
“We’ve had a number of close friends treated at UNC Lineberger and they could not have been welcomed with more open arms,” said Linda. “We feel very blessed and are glad we can do something to help.”