When Gerry and Judy Rogers of Raleigh, NC, were first asked to support UNC Lineberger, they knew little about their alma mater’s cancer center. Intrigued, they took advantage of an opportunity to tour the N.C. Cancer Hospital—which at the time was still under construction—to learn more.
“It was incredible to go through the hospital,” remembered Judy. “We got to see firsthand that it was bigger than just Chapel Hill. They had the technology to really make a difference and help people across the state,” added Gerry.
Inspired by the tour, Gerry and Judy decided to begin giving to UNC Lineberger as a Lineberger Leadership Partner. “We felt like the folks at Lineberger had a compelling story, strong leadership and were good stewards of their funds, so we agreed to make a contribution,” said Gerry. “It wasn’t huge, but it was significant to us.”
Splitting their annual gift into automatic monthly contributions has enabled Gerry and Judy to continue giving at the Lineberger Club level for the past five years. “For us, giving monthly makes the most sense,” explained Gerry. “Once you make that investment, it becomes a part of what you do.”
Each year, the Rogers attend the Lineberger Club Luncheon and through this event have become further connected to the cancer center’s mission. “We love hearing the patient stories and learning what our support really means to the people being touched,” said Judy. But their favorite cancer success story is that of their son, Reverend John Rogers.
“Parents can never forget the faces of cancer,” said Judy. “John recovered from Hodgkins over 10 years ago and celebrates life each day.” Yet, after more than a decade, the emotions surrounding John’s diagnosis and treatment remain close to the surface. Gerry recounted with vivid clarity the fear he felt while watching a nurse inject his son with medication conspicuously labeled poison.
For Gerry and Judy, these poignant memories are powerful motivators. “If we can do something to keep just one person from going through that, we’re all for it.”