The Hiscotts

In 2008 new UNC Lineberger Board of Visitors members Brenda and Don Hiscott of Pinehurst, hosted a reception for UNC Lineberger featuring neurosurgeon Dr. Matt Ewend as one of the speakers. They had no way of knowing that nine months later, they would see Dr. Ewend again, this time in the OR at UNC where Brenda would undergo surgery for removal of a brain mass caused by a rare type of lymphoma called MALT (gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue).

Don and Brenda HiscottBrenda explains, “I never knew I had cancer. We joined the Board after attending a reception at Wayne and Billie Ann Peterson’s home and learning about UNC Lineberger. Cancer has touched all of us, and we wanted to do something to help Lineberger.” Because of her care at UNC and their confidence in UNC Lineberger scientists, the Hiscotts have made a generous gift in the form of a bequest to UNC Lineberger.

Brenda had suffered puzzling symptoms for several years until her Pinehurst physician, Dr. Jeff Kilpatrick, performed a sobriety test involving placing fingers of her right and left hand on her nose. Brenda recalls, “When I couldn’t do it, he ordered an MRI that revealed brain abnormalities and told me I needed to go to Chapel Hill. He added, ‘Didn’t Dr. Ewend speak at your party?’”

Brenda’s other UNC care team members are Drs. Kristy Richards and David Morris. She says, “We are incredibly grateful to Drs. Ewend, Richards and Morris and their teams. They have given me tremendous support through our cancer journey.” Brenda has also been diagnosed with Stage IV follicular lymphoma, an incurable form of cancer.

Brenda and Don remain active in their community. They work with Volunteers in Police Service, where they help to prevent crime by riding on patrols. Both are avid photographers and plan their travels around photo opportunities. Brenda has trained as a caregiver with the Stephens Ministries Program at her church and reports, “The training has come in handy for us, and some of my fellow trainees have helped to take care of me. Don is a wonderful caregiver. He’s my constant emotional support.”

Don says, “We decided to make a planned gift to UNC Lineberger because we have every confidence that the talented team of scientists and physicians there will achieve great things in research and discoveries. Of course we are incredibly grateful for the superb and compassionate care Brenda has and continues to receive, but foremost, we want to find cures for cancers and we believe strongly that the team at Lineberger will get the job done.”

The Hiscotts were recently featured in The Pilot. Read more about their story here.