Brian Robinson’s Community Challenge

Brian Robinson’s Community Challenge

Brian Robinson recently moved to Flat Rock and decided to firmly put down roots. Actually, he is digging in and connecting with the community in a tremendous manner:

On Thursday, October 27, Brian decided to make a $500,000 pledge to the Pardee Cancer Center capital campaign. On Friday, October 28, at the annual Women Helping Women luncheon, Brian announced to a crowd of over 460 community leaders that he not only had pledged that amount, but that he would like to issue a challenge to the community to raise an additional $250,000, of which he will match dollar for dollar, in order to reach a total goal of $1 million.

Originally from a small town in east Tennessee, Brian became affiliated with the region as an actor with the Flat Rock Playhouse many years ago. He made Flat Rock his permanent residence when he bought his home in 2015. When asked why this gift and why give to the Cancer Center at Pardee Hospital, Robinson responds with passion and enthusiasm that he’s been blessed with good health his whole life and like so many others, took it for granted. It was on a recent two-week intensive health retreat in California that Robinson says he underwent a transformative experience that at the time wasn’t apparent. It was only upon his return home to Henderson County and a visit to the Cancer Center with his friend and capital campaign committee member Debbie Rouse that the true impact of his retreat surfaced. This behind the scenes tour was instrumental in Brian’s “aha” moment.

“I was so overcome and overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of this place,” said Robinson. “I knew that this Cancer Center was going to be a place of healing – both physically and spiritually – and I wanted to be a part of it in a significant way.” Robinson went on to meet with Foundation executive director Kimerly Hinkelman to discuss his intention to contribute. It was at that meeting that he came up with the idea of challenging the community to join him. The thought at the time was “why not engage more people in this caring community?” Let’s harness the power of giving and see this campaign through to completion.

“I give because it is my duty. I have been blessed with the most precious of gifts: good health. This place of hope will restore that gift to those less fortunate.”

Join the Community Challenge. Donate Now.

Ellises Support Community with Cancer Center Donation

Ellises Support Community with Cancer Center Donation

David and Deanna Ellis are both from a small town in Tennessee that creates a unique perspective on the impact that a dedicated group of people can have on the delivery of critical health care within their community.

After David finished medical school at Tulane, the couple moved to Charleston for David’s residency at MUSC. When they began to look at places to live, they knew they wanted to be somewhere with a change of seasons – after spending so many years in the hot weather, they were ready to have fall, winter and spring! When David came to Hendersonville and toured the area with Dr. Marion Ross, he fell in love with it immediately. They knew they wanted to settle in a smaller town and live in a place where they could be active contributors to their community. They had two small children at the time, and wanted a safe place for them to grow up.

David was the “young” doctor at Hendersonville OBGYN at the time, with lots of fresh ideas of how to practice Obstetrics. But he also learned many things from Dr. Ross during his tenure there. In 1987, their practice was the only practice at Pardee Hospital offering obstetrics. David was instrumental in bringing Labor Delivery Recovery Post-partum (LDRP) rooms to Pardee Hospital, insisting that this was best practice for Obstetrics and more importantly for the mother and baby. This was a radical change and great accomplishment, as there were no other hospitals in the area with LDRP rooms.

After 11 years with Hendersonville OB/GYN, David decided to go out on his own. He has been at the current practice since then, transitioning to a Pardee-owned practice in August 2015, and then becoming the Chief Medical Officer at Pardee Hospital in that same year. Pardee Hospital has always been David’s choice of hospital in which to work. He recognized the quality of the other physicians and nurses from the very beginning, and had no desire to work at any other place.

David and Deanna have been supporters of Pardee since moving to Hendersonville. David has been active on various committees, and Deanna was active in the medical society auxiliary until it disbanded. Since then, she has found a home volunteering at the Pardee Hospital Foundation, assisting with events and now serving as a Board member. The couple has always considered it a privilege to be able to actively support Pardee and the Foundation.

When the Foundation began its capital campaign to fund the Cancer Center, the Ellises immediately felt drawn to contribute in a substantial way towards the center. While they have not been touched by cancer in a personal way, they have experienced it with friends and patients who have.

They heard firsthand how challenging it was for patients to go from one place to another, and keep up with where they were supposed to be for the different treatments. When they learned that a new facility would be built and would offer everything in one place, they were drawn to that.

I love the slogan “Right here, Right now,” said Deanna. “We are so fortunate to have this Cancer Center right here in our community, with highly qualified doctors and nurses taking care of our patients and friends. They no longer have to wonder where they need to go or who they need to see. Most services will be offered right here. This is such a blessing and we want to be part of it!”

The couple feels it is important to show support for the community where they live. Supporting the Cancer Center is their way of saying just how much they value this community and want to see it continue to flourish. The Ellises dedicated a room in the new center to their children in the hopes that they never have to use it, but to show what giving means. “You would be hard pressed to find a community of our size with a 200-bed hospital that has the high quality of care and providers that Pardee does,” said Deanna Ellis.

Women Helping Women Luncheon Raises More Than $160,000

Women Helping Women Luncheon Raises More Than $160,000

We were so pleased to announce the 2016 Women of Hope award recipients at the 19th Annual Women Helping Women Luncheon held on Friday, Oct. 28 at Blue Ridge Community College. Delwin Hyder, Karen Orr Haug and Bobbie Trotter were honored at this year’s sold-out event, which raised more than $160,000 to help uninsured or under-insured women receive a mammogram or other important health screenings. At the luncheon, which welcomed a record 500 attendees, WLOS News 13 anchor and cancer survivor Jay Siltzer introduced keynote speaker Joan Lunden, former host of Good Morning America, bestselling author and cancer survivor.

Every year, the Pardee Hospital Foundation honors at least one woman in the community who has experienced cancer or another serious health condition, and has shared her story of courage and determination.

Delwin Hyder has driven Flat Rock Middle School’s exceptional children school bus for 38 years. In 2013, she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, between stage 1 and 2, a moderately aggressive form of breast cancer. Hyder underwent a double mastectomy and four rounds of chemotherapy. Though the treatment made her weak and fatigued, she was determined to fight for her family and the children she loved at Flat Rock. She returned to work three weeks after her final chemotherapy treatment. “I couldn’t wait to get back to my kids,” said Hyder. “That was what got me through. Those kids depend on me.” The students at Flat Rock Middle School missed her, too. They sold pink ribbons and donated the money to help Hyder pay her medical bills. Now cancer-free since 2013, she encourages people to count their blessings and women to get yearly mammograms. “Every woman needs to get a mammogram every year, no matter what is going on in their lives. It could save your life,” she said.

When Karen Orr Haug found a lump in her breast in 2014, she scheduled a mammogram, but the exam found nothing suspicious. Her primary care provider, Deb Pittillo, recommended an ultrasound, but again, the radiologist believed she only had a cyst and recommended another screening in six months. Not satisfied with the diagnosis, Pittillo referred her to Charles Albers, M.D., FACS, a breast surgeon at Pardee. Though Dr. Albers initially suspected fibrocystic disease, he scheduled Haug for a second screening in two months. At that exam, he found that the lump had grown and rushed Haug into testing, which found she had an aggressive form of breast cancer, HER2 positive. She underwent six grueling rounds of chemotherapy under Dr. Hill, followed by a double mastectomy, 36 radiation treatments and more chemotherapy. By Thanksgiving 2015, Haug was cancer-free. “I’m still here today thanks to my healthcare team,” she said. “I always tell my kids that everything happens for a reason. I think this happened to me to show me that every day is a gift.”

Bobbie Trotter discovered a lump in her breast in 2012 and knew something was not right. She called her friend Kristy Capps, RN, breast care navigator at Pardee, who scheduled a screening for the next day. The following day, Trotter was diagnosed with breast cancer. She almost immediately began four rounds of chemotherapy, followed by radiation. “All along, my mantra was, ‘let’s fight this,'” said Trotter. “I was going to beat this and do it as quickly as I could.” Engaged to be married at the time of her diagnosis, Trotter and her fiancé decided to move up their wedding day and got married at the gazebo at Laurel Park. Additionally, Trotter had just begun a new job as Laurel Park Chief of Police. “2012 was turning into a big year,” she said. “New job, breast cancer diagnosis and a new husband.” After beating cancer, she and her husband adopted their son Hayden. “It’s been four years now and while I have a hard time remembering the small details of my cancer treatment, what I remember most are the people who helped me and the impact they had on my journey,” she said. “My family, the team at Pardee, my friends and the power of prayer are what saved me.” She added, “I’m thankful for this diagnosis and my journey. It has made me stronger. And I’m now in a new club of very strong women and men.”

“Delwin, Karen and Bobbie exemplify what it means to be Women of Hope,” said Kimerly Hinkelman, executive director of Pardee Hospital Foundation. “Not only did these women beat cancer, they did so with incredible strength, grace and dignity. We are so pleased to honor them as 2016 Women of Hope and know their stories will inspire others to face challenges with a similar spirit.”

Pardee Hospital Cancer Navigator, Kristy Capps spoke about how funds from the Women Helping Women program profoundly impact those who are battling cancer. Before introducing Keynote Speaker Joan Lunden, WLOS News Anchor, Jay Siltzer shared his own personal experience as a cancer survivor. Finally, Lunden spoke about her 2014 diagnosis of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, which required chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Lunden made a decision to take her battle public and has since shared her journey through cancer treatment with the world, becoming a prominent voice in the breast cancer community. From her consistent journaling throughout her breast cancer journey, Lunden wrote a book entitled Had I Known, which documents her battle with cancer. After the luncheon, Joan personally autographed books for those present.

Click here to view event photos.

Longtime Hospital Supporters Donate to Cancer Center

Longtime Hospital Supporters Donate to Cancer Center

Jim and Shirley Crafton are both longtime supporters of Pardee Hospital. Both have either worked or volunteered their time at Pardee over the years and see their support for the Cancer Center as simply the right thing to do.

Shirley has been a volunteer with Pardee since 2000, where her mother Ruth Tillman volunteered before her. They shared their sewing skills by volunteering their time in “Workshop 2”. It is there that Shirley makes clowns and other items that are sold in the hospital gift shop. Shirley also volunteers in the Garden Café as her schedule permits.

Jim worked for Pardee as an interim Director of Engineering for two years, filling in when the hospital needed him. His work and Shirley’s time as a volunteer instilled in them that Pardee is a good organization and their involvement was natural.

Like so many, Jim also has a personal interest in the Cancer Center: he is a two-time cancer survivor, and has a family history of cancer. “Cancer has affected my family in numerous ways. My mother had breast cancer twice; my brother died from cancer; and in 2006, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Within eight years of that diagnosis, I received my second diagnosis of prostate cancer. Even though my kidney was removed at another facility, Pardee detected my first cancer. Pardee also treated me for my second diagnosis with radiation and hormone treatment.”

When asked why they chose to donate to the Cancer Center at Pardee, Jim and Shirley noted their appreciation for the work that Pardee Hospital does. “I believe in Pardee Hospital,” said Jim. “An investment in the Cancer Center and what it can do for people will be significant for our community.”

Shirley adds that all of us want the hospital and the Cancer Center to be the best it can be if we need to go for care. Supporting it financially is “part of giving back to your community and making the community what it is.”

Dolly & Rakesh Agarwal Generously Donate to Cancer Center

Dolly & Rakesh Agarwal Generously Donate to Cancer Center

Rakesh and his wife Dolly moved to Hendersonville from India 31 years ago. They had a two-year old daughter, $20 and the promise of a job. Rakesh was to become a Production Manager at a textile company in Hendersonville, making $1,000/month – barely enough to make ends meet.

Rakesh notes with great affection when recounting this story that it was the generosity of this community that helped his family during that time and the generosity of his adopted country that instilled in him and his wife a strong intention to give back. “It has been our intention to give back all along,” says Rakesh.

“We were not taught to give back in India. America taught me to give back. No other place on Earth is as giving and teaches volunteer work like this country.” Coming from such a poor background where he rarely had enough to eat, no more than two pairs of shoes during an entire year, and being a first generation immigrant, it became a priority for Rakesh to give back both to his home country and his adopted country.

This level of community generosity stuck with Dolly and Rakesh and they in turn began supporting the community that gave so much to them.

The Agarwals have given financially to Four Seasons Compassion for Life and the Flat Rock Playhouse. When asked about their motivation for giving, Rakesh points to close friendships and relationships that illustrate compassion and in turn, inspired giving. Personal experiences have touched them greatly and they wanted to do something to support these important community organizations in a way that would help make a difference.

Rakesh and Dolly recently made a pledge to give $50,000 to the Pardee Cancer Center. The Agarwals noted that while they have not personally experienced cancer, they have both seen so many cases of cancer among their friends and close associates. They see them dealing with cancer and it makes them want to do something. “In our community, to have a Cancer Center such as this is a great thing.”

The Agarwals consider it a blessing to be able to do what they do. “Many people have means,” notes Rakesh. “God has guided us to make these gifts. We are blessed.”

Tap Into Philanthropy Event Raises Money for Foundation

Tap Into Philanthropy Event Raises Money for Foundation

On Thursday, August 11th you can support Pardee Hospital Foundation simply by purchasing a cold glass of beer at our Tap into Philanthropy event. Our generous partners at Mountain River Tap & Growlers will donate 10% of all draft beer sales purchased at any of their four locations.

While you’re there, purchase a Pardee Hospital Foundation Tervis ® Tumbler or TAP into Philanthropy pint glass. 100% of the proceeds from the purchase of these glasses will benefit the Pardee Hospital Foundation.

Mountain River Tap & Growlers are located inside Triangle Stop Gas stations in Saluda, Mills River, Asheville Airport, and Brevard. They feature beers from many local breweries like Oskar Blues, Wicked Weed, Catawba Brewing and more. Stop in and fill your glass or growler in support of the Foundation. Cheers!