Local girl gives a special gift to cancer patients this Christmas

Local girl gives a special gift to cancer patients this Christmas

Lilly Hagaman makes cancer donation

By Josh Jarman

What makes Christmas, Christmas? Depending on whom you ask, you are bound to get a sleigh full of different answers. Most kids will shout Santa, while parents will say a few days off work to travel and then stand in long return lines. It’s true, right? We spend so much time cooking, shopping, cleaning the house and getting ready for the big gift exchange that we often don’t pause long enough to reflect on a year full of blessings.

At Appalachian Regional Healthcare System we are not immune to the hustle and bustle of the season. Since our doors are always open to care for patients, we too sometimes feel guilty for not slowing down enough to enjoy the holiday. Thankfully, Lilly Hagaman, a beautiful seven-year-old girl and student at Hardin Park School, recently reminded us of the true reason for the season.

 

A heartwarming idea

According to her parents, Daniel and Katie Hagaman, Lilly woke up at the crack of dawn a month before Christmas and approached her parents with an idea. Over a very early bowl of cereal, Lilly shared that she wanted to do a fundraiser to help people with cancer at the hospital.

“Cancer is not good,” she said. “And I know people with it have to see doctors to get better, which I’m sure is expensive. So, I thought I could help them as a Christmas gift.”

Pride that only a parent can imagine welled up inside of Katie’s heart. Although she admits that tears of laughter burst forth moments later when her daughter went on to explain in a very serious tone that she would like to raise a grand total of $10 for the cause. “It was one of those moments when you think to yourself, ‘that’s my baby!’”

The sentiment also touched Daniel’s heart. Over the years, both he and his mother, Lilly’s grandmother, have overcome bouts with cancer at the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center in Boone, NC.

 

A lesson for us all

Angie Del Nero, Lilly Hagaman, Katie Hagaman

Left to right: Angie Del Nero, Lilly Hagaman, Katie Hagaman

When asked if she had any previous fundraising experience Lilly said no, but she didn’t see that as a problem. She went on to tout her affinity for arts-and-crafts and how that in itself was a transferrable skill. Evidently, drawing unicorns and cat-mermaids is her specialty.

Before school the next morning she helped her mother put together a GoFundMe account to accomplish her goal. Thanks to social media, the idea spread quickly and before long $365 was donated – enough to give a dollar a day for an entire year. Lilly was thrilled.

Four days before Christmas, Lilly and Katie made a special after school trip to personally deliver the check to Angie Del Nero, the Social Worker at the Cancer Center. Angie explained that the gift will go into a very special fund, known as the Cancer Patient Emergency Fund. Angie added that this fund is used to help remove some of the financial barriers that a patient may run into during the course of their treatment. This fund is often used to help patients pay their electric bills during the winter months and to cover transportation expenses.

Lilly beamed as she took it all in, awestruck by the realization of a goal accomplished and a dream fulfilled.

When asked what makes Christmas, Christmas, Katie said, “I think Christmas is always ultimately about giving. We tend to look at the receiving side of things, but the first Christmas was all about what we were gifted. And that was a huge gift of love and sacrifice. I believe that first Christmas gift was given as an example for us to follow. And as a mother, I’m proud of Lilly’s heart for staying so true to that.”

At Appalachian Regional Healthcare System we are grateful for Lilly’s thoughtful heart and gift this year. We also would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year.

To learn more about how you can also give a gift for the advancement of healthcare in the High Country, contact the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation at 828-262-9105, or visit apprhs.org/foundation.

#GivingTuesday: Help prevent chemo-induced hair loss

#GivingTuesday: Help prevent chemo-induced hair loss

What would you say if we told you that cancer patients may not have to lose their hair during chemotherapy? Hair loss is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy and can have a significant impact on patients’ emotional well-being.

 

We can help patients keep their hair

With your help, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System would like to bring the technology for the Paxman Scalp Cooling System to the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center. Help bring hope, privacy, and control back to cancer patients of the High Country.

“Scalp cooling is a simple treatment that can prevent hair loss caused by certain chemotherapy drugs. The use of scalp cooling has been proven to be effective in preventing chemotherapy induced alopecia, or hair loss, and can result in women retaining much of the hair. Some women retain all of it. For people receiving chemotherapy, scalp cooling can mean the opportunity to regain some control, ensure some privacy, and maintain a positive attitude toward treatment.” (Source)

 

Why should we make scalp-cooling available? 

  1. Privacy: It’s hard to hide a medical condition when the treatment causes hair loss. This technology could help cancer patients forgo the signature “look” of cancer and maintain privacy throughout treatment. 
  2. Control: During cancer treatment, so many things are out of the patient’s control. With scalp cooling technology, patients can take control of one of the most impactful side effects of treatment. 
  3. Confidence and hope: Even though patients may feel very sick, the fact that they don’t have to look sick can make a big difference in positive attitude and confidence. 

 

scalp_cooling_system

 

What will my donation fund?

Your gift means patients will have the opportunity to participate in scalp cooling treatment! Appalachian Regional Healthcare System will purchase the Paxman Scalp Cooling System to be available for patients of Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center. There is additional cost associated with each patient’s treatment, including the personal, single-patient-use cap and treatment sessions, and financial assistance for patient treatment is available. 

 

What would you say if we told you that cancer patients may not have to lose their hair during chemotherapy?

With your help, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System would like to bring the technology for the Paxman Scalp Cooling System to the Seby B. jones Regional Cancer Center. Help bring hope, privacy, and control back to cancer patients of the High Country.

“Scalp cooling is a simple treatment that can prevent hair loss caused by certain chemotherapy drugs. The use of scalp cooling has been proven to be effective in preventing chemotherapy induced alopecia, or hair loss, and can result in women retaining much of the hair. Some women retain all of it. For people receiving chemotherapy, scalp cooling can mean the opportunity to regain some control, ensure some privacy, and maintain a positive attitude toward treatment.” (Source)

 

Help prevent chemo-induced hair loss

$3,000 will supply the Paxman Scalp Cooling System for one year. Any additional donations will make this technology available for more years to come! 100% of your gift will go toward scalp-cooling treatment technology.

What will my donation fund?

Your gift means patients will have the opportunity to participate in scalp cooling treatment! Appalachian Regional Healthcare System will purchase the Paxman Scalp Cooling System to be available for patients of Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center. There is additional cost associated with each patient’s treatment, including the personal, single-patient-use cap and treatment sessions, and financial assistance for patient treatment is available. 

Time Capsule for Good: Cannon Memorial Hospital receives Major Gift from the Morrison Charitable Trust

Time Capsule for Good: Cannon Memorial Hospital receives Major Gift from the Morrison Charitable Trust

Robert Morrison with his dog.

Robert Morrison with his dog.

Most of us do not like to think about end-of-life planning. We view the act of writing a will to be a burdensome acknowledgement of our own mortality; a conversation we would prefer to put off for another day, if not indefinitely. But thoughtful end-of-life planning can also serve as a final gift for prosperity, a tactic to leave things better than we found them. A perfect example of this sentiment can be found in the Morrison Charitable Trust.

On November 8, 1964, Robert Foster Morrison, of Pineola, updated his handwritten, 14-page Last Will and Testament to include a trust that would fund the establishment of a local library and benefit the community hospitals in Avery County for years to come.

The Morrison Charitable Trust was created following Robert Morrison’s death in July 1968. Morrison specified three charitable beneficiaries:  Cannon Memorial Hospital in Banner Elk, Garrett Memorial Hospital (later Sloop Memorial) in Crossnore (these two entities merged into the new Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital in 1999), and the future Avery County Morrison Library in Newland. Morrison further stipulated that the trust would distribute income annually to these organizations and terminate upon the 50th anniversary of his passing. The trust had an initial balance of $300,000.

In early October 2018, the Morrison Charitable Trust distributed its remaining assets to the beneficiaries. Cannon Memorial Hospital received $2,404,683.84. From 1968 to 2018, the Morrison Charitable Trust distributed more than $9 million to benefit the citizens of Avery County.

As with all charitable trusts, which function in a way like buried time capsules, it is important to remember that there is more than just financial treasure to be unearthed in this story. There is a legacy worth remembering.

 

Making history in the fast lane

In 1923, Howard Marmon from Indianapolis, IN, purchased a large tract of land in Avery County, which included parts of Pineola, Montezuma and Linville. He and his wife, Martha, longed to return to the clean mountain air that Howard credited for healing him from an early teenage bout with tuberculosis. Marmon made his fortune by establishing the Marmon Motor Car Company, and entertained some of the greatest minds of his day, including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone at his Avery County estate, known as Hemlock Hedges.

The Marmon’s had no children and left a substantial portion of their assets, including the Hemlock Hedges estate to their nephew, Robert Morrison.

Morrison was an only child who grew up in Indianapolis and later split his time between his homes in New York City and Avery County. He is remembered by friends as a kind man with a selfless heart. He was well read and he appreciated the artistic beauty of the mountains.

Morrison’s will stipulated that his long-time friends Martha Guy — who was the owner of Avery County Bank, and local judge, J. Ray Braswell — serve as co-trustees for his charitable trust. Wachovia Bank and Trust Company, which was acquired by Wells Fargo, was named the trust’s institutional trustee.

“Bob (Robert Morrison) told me that he was not going to go through with the trust unless I agreed to serve as a trustee for it,” quipped Guy, with a reminiscent smile. “We became friends early on when he would stop by the bank. He was the type of guy that enjoyed giving to others and he never sought any recognition for it. He had a good giving streak in him; I was always impressed by the fact that despite all of his world travels, he left his money here in Avery County.”

After Judge Braswell died in 1996, the trust stipulated that an Avery County attorney must step in as his successor. At that time, Guy recommended that her friend, Kelly Johnson, a well-respected attorney and mediator, be selected for the position. Johnson graciously accepted and he has served in that capacity ever since.

“I really felt privileged to be selected as a trustee,” said Johnson. “Over the years, I have witnessed the trust make substantial contributions to both the library and to our community hospital. Improvements to the hospital have included everything from funding advanced technology and equipment to bringing in new medical providers. I think we can all say that it worked out well. And I want to be sure to give a tremendous amount of credit to Judge Braswell and Martha Guy for their good management of the trust.”

 

Making a better tomorrow

Cannon Memorial Hospital recently received a $6.5 million grant from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to expand the availability of behavioral health beds in Western North Carolina. Before the new behavioral health beds can be built, Cannon must relocate its medical beds to a new section in the hospital. Proceeds from the Morrison Charitable Trust’s final distribution will be used for this expense.

Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System commented further by saying, “None of this would be possible if it were not for the generous forethought of Mr. Robert Morrison. Thanks to his generosity, along with the careful trust fund management of Martha Guy, Judge Braswell and Kelly Johnson, these funds will be used to improve the lives of countless patients and their families for generations to come.”

To learn more about how you can also leave a legacy for the advancement of healthcare in the High Country, contact the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation at 828-262-9105, or visit apprhs.org/foundation.

Golf Tournament raises $36K for Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center

Golf Tournament raises $36K for Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center

Golf Tournament RickBeasleySteveSteinbacherRobHudspethRichardSparks_680_small

The 45th Annual Grover C. Robbins, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament was held at Elk River Club on Monday, September 11, 2017. The event raised more than $36,500 to benefit the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center. Sandi Cassidy, Director of Oncology Services, stated, “I cannot express the depth of my gratitude to everyone involved and for all the work that goes into making this incredible event so very special. Please accept my thanks to each and every one involved in making the 2017 Grover Robbins Golf Tournament a huge success.”

Golf Tournament BlueRidgeEnergy_680_smallDespite the rainy weather brought on by Hurricane Irma, 20 well-spirited teams battled the elements. The first place team for lowest net score included Ed Hinson, Jack Hinson, Tony Golembesky and Jeff Dollar. Blue Ridge Energy sponsored the first place team for lowest gross score, which included Alan Merck, Scott Fogelman, Regan Sander and Randy Dula.

 

A legacy of helping our community

Since 1942, Spencer Robbins, co-founder of the Grover C. Robbins, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament, has worked tirelessly to raise funds to support the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center. In total, the tournament has raised over a million dollars to help fight cancer in the High Country. In 2011, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System honored Mr. Robbins as its Lifetime Achievement Award Winner for his service and dedication to support quality healthcare in the High Country.

Golf Tournament EdHinson_680Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation (ARHF) would like to thank the following sponsors.

  • Tournament Sponsor: Wells Fargo
  • Signature Sponsors: First Citizens Bank, IH Services, INC., Medline, Paragon Revenue and Skyline Skybest.
  • Eagle Level Sponsor: Criterion Healthcare
  • Tee Sponsors: Alleghany Memorial Hospital Foundation, Allscripts, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences, Horizon CSA, Modern Automotive, Mountaineer Golf Center, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Ronald and Debra Parr, Peter and Joni Petschauer, T. Bragg McLeod, and WJ Office.

ARHF would also like to thank Elk River Club, Brian Newman, Toni Littleton and the entire Elk River Club staff, as well as the players who participated in the tournament.

For further information about the tournament, contact Addie Cardwell at 828-262-4391.

13th annual Pretty in Pink event provides mammograms in Avery County

13th annual Pretty in Pink event provides mammograms in Avery County

Pretty in Pink

Pictured: Vickie Fuller, Angela Wilson, Pat Parks.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s 13th Annual Pretty in Pink event was held on June 16, 2017 at Linville Ridge Country Club. Nearly 200 women from the surrounding areas gathered for a luncheon and fashion show in support of providing free, first-time mammograms to uninsured women in Avery County. These funds directly impact the lives of women living in Avery County to help aid early breast cancer detection.

This year we were honored to have the following models participate in the Fashion Show: Kim Krege Florio, Julie Getty, Rob Getty, Marion Krege, Roy Krege, Trina McCoy, Tanion McCoy, Kariana Sanchez, Irene Sawyer, Dave Smith, Janet Streett and Lisa Townsend. Fashions were sponsored by Belk and modeled by individuals who have been touched by cancer. Our male and female models ranged from cancer survivors, to caregivers, and cancer nurses.

Kristen Walls was this year’s Pretty in Pink speaker. She shared her inspirational testimony about her battle with metastatic breast cancer. In her opening statement she said, “Everyone’s cancer story is unique. I suppose what we survivors do have in common is that we’ve all heard the words “you’ve got cancer” and we have all had to find our own way on our journeys towards healing.” Her journey, as she shared, had bumps in the road, some highs, and some lows, yet she related well to the women and gentleman of Pretty in Pink. Nods of agreement, laughs, and looks of concern were exchanged throughout the room; it created a sense of hope and unity that only the impacts of cancer can instill.

Pretty in Pink serves as a reminder to the High Country that cancer is a prevalent disease that touches many in the community either directly or indirectly. The focus of the event isn’t just to bring awareness; the main focus is to bring hope and encouragement to those in the community who are battling this trying disease.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation would like to thank everyone who came to the event, models, sponsors and donors. Without their continued and enthusiastic support, this tradition would not be what it is today.

Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital Receives Grant to Expand Behavioral Health

Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital Receives Grant to Expand Behavioral Health

Cannon Behavioral Health GrantThe North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services (NCDHHS) has selected Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital (Cannon Hospital) in Avery County, North Carolina to receive a $6.5 million grant award, to expand the availability of behavioral health beds in the western region of North Carolina.

Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) commented on the grant award by saying, “we are extremely pleased to receive this grant from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. It will allow Cannon Hospital and ARHS to significantly impact the behavioral health crisis occurring in North Carolina.”

The funding for this grant originated from the Dorothea Dix Hospital Property Fund, which was created by the North Carolina General Assembly from the sale of Dorothea Dix Hospital in 2015. The Dorothea Dix Hospital Property Fund was established as a part of NCDHHS’s plan to expand the number of beds that provide crisis stabilization and inpatient behavioral health care.  The plan calls for 150 new behavioral health inpatient beds across the state.

 

Behavioral Health demand increases

Over the last five years Cannon Hospital has experienced a drastic increase in the demand for behavioral health inpatient beds from across the region. In 2016 Cannon Hospital received over 5,000 psychiatric referrals, but was only able to admit 560 psychiatric patients. Additionally, in 2014 the US Health Resources and Services Administration reported that, “30 counties in North Carolina were designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas.” Avery County (where Cannon Hospital operates), was among those counties.

Currently Cannon Hospital operates as a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital and as a 10-bed behavioral health unit. Cannon Hospital also provides an emergency department, imaging, laboratory, outpatient behavioral health, a rehabilitation center, a surgery suite, and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services. This full-service medical campus is the hub of healthcare delivery in Avery County.

Mantooth commented on the future of Cannon Hospital by saying, “I want to be clear that Cannon Hospital will continue to meet the medical needs of the community by operating as a Critical Access Hospital. These additional behavioral health beds afford us the opportunity to grow the medical campus at Cannon Hospital and to develop the rural hospital of the future model, which can be replicated across the country.  These grant funds are a win for patients, our community, our healthcare system and the State of North Carolina.”

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System will host a public information session about this grant and the future of Cannon Hospital on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 5:30 pm at the Hugh Chapman Center in Linville, NC. The public is invited to attend.