Wise beyond her years, Morgan Throckmorton knew the paramount importance of family in the cancer experience. Shortly before her passing, she reflected in a blog post: “Family is there to be your backbone when you feel like you can’t make it on your own.”
For Morgan, family was a very inclusive term. Diagnosed with colon cancer at age 22, Morgan leaned on a community of supporters—including her parents, church family, friends, boyfriend, classmates and relatives—as she courageously fought through five major surgeries and two and a half years of chemotherapy.
Morgan’s parents, Romie and Karen Throckmorton, marveled at Morgan’s ability to maintain a positive outlook. “Above all, with everything she was facing, she never said ‘why me?’” said Romie. “Whenever the doctors found another mutant gene, Morgan would say: ‘Of course you did, because I’m unique.’”
As her cancer progressed, Morgan’s family expanded to include UNC Lineberger doctors and staff. “Morgan loved UNC and really connected with her doctors,” said Romie. “They treat hundreds of patients but made Morgan feel like she was the only one. It must be in the DNA around here—everyone at UNC makes you feel like you are a part of their family.”
After her passing, Romie and Karen decided UNC Lineberger would be the most fitting beneficiary for those who wanted to make gifts in Morgan’s memory. “Carolina had done so much for us,” said Karen. “We wanted to raise some money for research to help us come to grips with this deadly disease.” A true testament and wonderful tribute to Morgan’s character, 39 people contributed more than $2,800 to support colon cancer research at UNC.In her final days, when her cancer had spread to her brain and lungs, Morgan’s hospital room was filled to the brim with 34 people clad in purple, Morgan’s favorite color. Because “Team Throck” had played such an important role in her cancer journey, Karen insisted that the doctors discuss her prognosis with everyone in the room.
Morgan continues to impact the lives of her friends and family. “So many people say to me that Morgan helped them get through hard times,” said Karen. “She always brought out the best in everyone and is still a blessing to so many of us.”