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The Lance Family: A Tribute to Dr. John Hill

On July 8, 2016, Larry, Jeff and Natascha Lance presented a $10,000 check to Pardee Hospital Foundation for the new Cancer Center at Pardee Hospital in memory of Larry’s wife and Jeff and Natascha’s mother, Hannelore Lance.

Hannelore, who passed away in June 2014, was treated by John Hill, M.D., of Hendersonville Hematology & Oncology at Pardee. Hannelore formed a strong bond with Dr. Hill and her nurses at Pardee. Because of this bond, the Lance family decided to name Dr. Hill’s new office at the Cancer Center in honor of Hannelore.

“I can think of no better way to pay tribute to my mother’s legacy and to the outstanding treatment she received from Dr. Hill and the Pardee team,” said Natascha. “The new Cancer Center will be a safe and caring haven for so many who will grace its doors.”

“Our family has been so impressed with all of the staff at Pardee, from the emergency department team to the greeters and volunteers. The facility is outstanding,” said Larry. “I’ve had surgery at Pardee myself and was very impressed with the care I received.”

A long history of care at Pardee

Hannelore began treatment for leukemia at Pardee Hospital in 1996. She went into remission a few years later.

In 2012, Hannelore was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which can be caused by previous chemotherapy or radiation that has damaged the bone marrow. Though there is no cure for MDS, Hannelore knew she wanted to be treated at Pardee by Dr. Hill, who managed her care during that time.

“It is obvious that Dr. Hill really cares about his patients,” said Larry. “I always had good communication with him and his team. They never hesitated to answer our questions or give good medical advice. Dr. Hill went above and beyond. He is clearly called to his profession. All the nurses at both the hematology clinic, as well as those at Pardee Hospital, also went above and beyond in providing critical patient care on all levels.”

Natascha added, “The compassion that was shown by Dr. Hill and the medical staff at Pardee far exceeded any of our family’s expectations.”

The MDS later turned into acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is not curable. Hannelore passed away from AML in June 2014.

Excellent medical care with a human touch

Natascha says her mother was grateful for not only the excellent medical care she received, but also for the compassionate support of the Pardee team.

“Pardee has a human touch you don’t find everywhere,” said Natascha. “Dr. Hill and my mother’s nurses sat and talked with her while she was in the hospital. Dr. Hill even continued to visit her in the hospital when she was in her terminal stage, taking his own time to go see her and provide comfort not only for her, but also for the family. There were also nurse who visited after duty hours and left notes and cards. This is not the normal care one receives everywhere. This confirmed her belief that the medical care at Pardee is above and beyond. She was passionate about that. A few of her long-term attending nurses were present at her memorial mass in Brevard.”

Pardee’s outstanding care

Natascha lives in Germany with her husband and returns to Pardee each year for checkups because she believes in Pardee’s outstanding care.

“I’ve lived overseas since 2002 in Asia and Germany, and have seen a lot of medical facilities. What Pardee is doing with the new Cancer Center is phenomenal. Cancer treatment is already an uncomfortable experience, but the new Center is designed to be warm and inviting, from the windows to the healing garden to the coffee shop to the waiting rooms. It is on the leading edge of medical care without losing its human touch. It is clear that the vision for this new Center is very patient-focused.”

Hannelore Lance’s legacy

The Lance family encourages other community members to pledge their support to the new Cancer Center at Pardee.

“My mom was always a very compassionate person and supported others, whether it was emotionally or financially,” said Natascha. “In her memory, we want others to know that we are all interconnected and must heed the call to provide support in any way we can.  We need to help people and take care of each other. We need to help people and take care of one another. Hopefully others will see her legacy and choose to give to Pardee as well.”

Join Natascha in ensuring a brighter future for your community.

Andrew Schmidt

Andrew Schmidt joined Pardee Hospital Foundation in November 2023 as a Donor Engagement Officer. Andrew began his career in fundraising at his alma mater, Sewanee: The University of the South, as an assistant director in charge of reunions and volunteers, working on milestone giving campaigns as well as alumni engagement and stewardship events. Andrew holds a BA in Philosophy from Sewanee and recently earned a MA in Applied Arts & Sciences from the Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Andrew previously served the Henderson Country community as an Advancement Analyst at nearby Kanuga Conference Center, where he was responsible for donor database administration, prospect research, and raising funds in support of a $15M capital campaign centered on a comprehensive renovation of the then-47-year-old Kanuga Lake Inn. Andrew looks forward to helping advance the mission of UNC Health and Pardee Hospital Foundation across the Western North Carolina region, and particularly in Transylvania County. When he’s not out and about visiting with donors, you can usually find Andrew scampering around DuPont and Pisgah with his wife, Sara and preschool-age son, Arthur.