Volunteers of the Southeastern Regional Medical Center (SRMC) Foundation have been busy preparing for the 20th annual A Legacy of Giving Gala.This year, the black-tie event set for Friday, Feb. 24 at Southeastern Agricultural Center in Lumberton, will raise funds for Gibson Cancer Center, an affiliate of SRMC as well as the Ribbons for Cancer Recovery Endowment Fund.
When the Gibson Cancer Center first opened its doors in 1995, an average of 30 patients were treated there each day. Some 17 years later, the center now treats 30 patients by 10 in the morning. By the end of this year, some 22,000 patients will have been treated at the center, which represents an increase in patient volumes of 34 percent.
As a result of this steady growth in patient volumes, the overall needs of the center have grown. To address a portion of those needs, the Ribbons for Cancer Recovery Endowment Fund was established in 1998. The fund assists cancer patients who receive treatment at Gibson Cancer Center with medication, equipment and transportation. Both Gibson Cancer Center and the Ribbons for Cancer Recovery Endowment Fund are vital resources for patients from Robeson County and surrounding counties each and every day.
“The Ribbons fund has been instrumental in helping patients obtain medications to prevent side effects from their treatments,” said Gibson Cancer Center Oncology Social Worker Shereta Jenkins. “In the event that a patient does not take the necessary medications, there is a possibility that their life expectancy will decrease.”
The fund also provides assistance with transportation, which for some presents a challenge because of daily treatment requirements. “Patients have expressed their gratitude for assistance with their transportation needs,” said Jenkins. “These acts of benevolence have been invaluable to our patients.”
One patient in particular that is very appreciative of assistance with transportation expenses is Eva Cashwell of Abbottsburg in Bladen County.
“When she [Jenkins] gave me that voucher for $35, I felt like I had been given a million dollars,” said Cashwell, who was required to travel to Gibson Cancer Center in Lumberton five-days-a-week for 30 treatments.
The voucher, one of three that she was given through the Ribbons Fund, enabled her to buy a full tank of gas for her car.
“Getting that gas was the best present ever,” added Cashwell.
Tri-chairs of this year’s event are Mrs. Obbie Lee (Betsy), Mr. and Mrs. Henry McDuffie (Julia) and, Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Ivey (Jennifer). Members of the gala planning committee are: Mr. Thomas C. Ard, Mrs. Mildred Blake Barrett, Ms. Sally P. Baxley, Dr. and Mrs. Joseph T. Bell, Mr. and Mrs. Burritt E. Benson III, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan A. Blue, Dr. and Mrs. Samuel E. Britt II, Dr. Kyle R. and Mrs. Sarah H. Carter, Mr. and Mrs. Jason M. Foil, Dr. and Mrs. Johnny R. Hunt, Mr. and Mrs. Randall S. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Kenney, Mr. and Mrs. H. Tyrone Leggette, Mr. and Mrs. Alvin D. Lewis III, The Honorable and Mrs. Gary L. Locklear, Dr. and Mrs. Terry S. Lowry, Mrs. Jill McIntyre, Dr. and Mrs. Godfrey D. Onime, Mr. and Mrs. Pramit V. Patel, Dr. and Mrs. W. Scott Ryan, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Schwartz, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew E. Simays III, Mr. and Mrs. W. Philip Stone, Mr. and Mrs. John D. Taylor, Dr. and Mrs. Christopher R. Walters, Dr. and Mrs. Daniel C. Walters Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Joshua E. Whitley, Mr. and Mrs. Coble D. Wilson III, Mr. and Mrs. W. Dayton Wilson, and Mr. and Mrs. Christian E. Wober.
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