Michele Hayward: Hometown Hero

Michele Hayward is Wednesday’s Hometown Hero.

Michele is a research coordinator at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.  She works closely with their UNCseq program.

She’s a leader and provides a human component to their work.  She brings scientists and physicians together, which can be like herding cats according to Neil Hayes.  Michele can also be a shoulder for people to cry on.

You can nominate your own Hometown Hero.  WCHL has honored local members of our community everyday since 2002.



Deb Mayer: Hometown Hero

Deb Mayer is Thursday’s Hometown Hero.

She is the Director of Cancer Survivorship at the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center.

UNC Lineberger is hosting a Cancer Survivor’s Day.  It is Saturday, June 25 from 10 AM until 3 PM at the Friday Center. Get more information and register for the event.  UNC women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell will be there. She was the keynote speaker at last year’s event.

This year, the keynote speaker of the UNC Cancer Survivor’s Day is Tomma Hargraves.  Like Hatchell, she is a cancer survivor.  Get her story.

Learn more about the UNC Lineberger’s Survivorship program.



Coach Hatchell Returns Home

CHAPEL HILL – UNC Women’s Basketball Coach, Sylvia Hatchell, returned home after nearly a month at UNC Lineberger.

Coach Hatchell recently stepped aside as head coach for the time being when diagnosed with leukemia. But Coach Hatchell says she’s getting better.

“I’m doing great, the doctors, they can’t believe how well I’ve done and how I’ve taken the treatments and I’ve exercised every day, only one day did I not exercise, but I feel really good, my numbers are great right now, in fact their a whole lot better than when I came in here” Hatchell says.

***Listen to the Full Interview***

Coach Hatchell became the head coach for UNC women’s basketball in 1986.  She says that while at UNC Lineberger she has looked back and is proud of what she has done.

“Of course I’ve never taken for granted coaching and the players and the opportunities that I have here, but I treasure them even more now” Hatchell says.

Thursday was Coach Hatchell’s first day out of the UNC Lineberger center in a month, and she says she has plans to see her team.

“I can’t wait to go see my golden retriever, Matty, so I’m excited to see her; but I get to see the team this afternoon and we’re going to do a team building exercise together so that will be really special to see those kids and all that stuff” Hatchell states.

Coach Hatchell has a large following of fans and supporters that have been sending her mail and tweeting about her. She says that the support has been great.

“The outpouring of love and friendship and all has just been absolutely unbelievable, and I’m not out of the woods yet with everything and so we got to continue, the biggest thing is I just need people praying for me” Hatchell says.


“Pink Heals” Holds Fundraiser At Tar Heel Town

CHAPEL HILL – Saturday, you can support the UNC Lineberger Center by donating to the “Pink Heals,” Help Give Cancer the Boot campaign.

The Chapel Hill Fire Department and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority will participate in a “boot” drive beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Tar Heel Town. CHFD Public Information Officer Lisa Edwards says the funds from the event will go towards UNC Lineberger.

“The Pink Heals event is about supporting women in the community and their support systems,” she says. “Our funds that we raise will go to the Lineberger Family Life Center, (which) provides books for support, meditation, massages, (and) hairpieces.”

Recently, UNC women’s basketball head coach Sylvia Hatchell was diagnosed with leukemia.  Edwards says this year they will honor her by having pictures of Coach Hatchell on their boots.

“This particular year,” Edwards says, “not only do we have Help Give Cancer the Boot (as our slogan), but we also have a picture of Coach Hatchell, with her permission, to use on the boots as we walk around the stadium and solicit donations.”

Edwards says Hatchell has helped hold other fundraiser events for cancer awareness in the past.

“In the spring, we’ll do a donation drive at a women’s basketball game, and she’s always been very supportive,” she says.

During the boot drive in Tar Heel Town, there will be a law enforcement car from the Pink Heals Parade that people can sign in honor of the people affected by cancer. T-shirts and survival bracelet kits will also be available for purchase to support the cause. For more information you can click here.


Performance Chevrolet Charity Car Show For Cancer

CHAPEL HILL – For the third year in a row, Performance Auto Mall is holding its third annual charity car show of which 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Support Program.

The car show takes place Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Jill McCullough from Performance says that this year the car show will have more activities for the whole family.

“This year we decided to actually change it a little bit and make it more of a family fun day, so that if you aren’t necessarily interested in classic cars or muscle cars you can bring your family out and we’re going to have a petting zoo, massage envy from Eastgate will be there doing chair massages, great clips will be there doing haircuts, all taking donations for Lineberger” McCullough says.

Other attractions at the car show include pony rides, food, Maple View ice cream, and a pumpkin contest.

McCullough says the car show is just one of the ways Performance is supporting the Lineberger Center this year.

“We’re doing more than the car show this month for Lineberger, we’re donating $10 per car we sell this month plus we have a service campaign running as well so that we can make money for Lineberger on that end also, so we’re hoping to write them a nice, nice check this month”McCullough says.

The Lineberger Center continues its “Turn the Town Pink” campaign for the rest of the month. For more information Performance Chevrolet’s car show this Saturday click here, or to find out more event going on with “Turn the Town Pink”, click here.


Pink Dollars

 I hope it is an underestimation to assume most of you are aware of the pink tint of much of our towns this month.  In case you’re among the few unaware of the flattering blush tone, it’s all part of “Turn the Town Pink” which is a fund (and awareness) raising effort by UNC Lineberger and its Comprehensive Cancer Support Program (CCSP).  

This column has seen a few rants about seemingly uncaring businesses but today, I write the opposite.  The business and community partners joining with UNC are proving that customer service comes in more than obvious ways.  And sometimes it wears pink.
The quantity and variety of businesses finding creative ways to donate and to help us donate is laudable but, to me, not surprising.  I’ve written before that I’ve lived in many places and never before have I lived in a community where good works and philanthropy is as celebrated as it is here.  
Here’s just a sample of participating local businesses:
  • Aveda Institute
  • Carolina Inn
  • Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
  • Chapel Hill Sportswear
  • Elaine’s on Franklin
  • Finn Facial Plastics
  • Galloway Ridge
  • O2 Fitness
  • Performance AutoMall 
  • Pure Barre
  • Shula’s 347 Grill
  • The Siena Hotel
  • A Southern Season 
  • Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry
  • Sugarland
  • Vietri
One business much beloved by me is donating 5% of the proceeds of all of next week’s (Oct. 17-21) Our Local Deals (this link will take you to the current offer, just look for the subscribe button to receive all of next week’s offers).  Make sure you look at each one with an eye toward holiday gift giving because more than one person will be the recipient.  
For a full list of how these and other businesses are participating, click here
What does all this buy? Here’s a sample:
  • Information: the vetted, clear, dependable kind.  A cancer diagnosis sends most people and their loved ones looking for answers.  The CCSP clears the underbrush of misinformation for patients.  
  • With too many families depleting savings to pay for care, this program provides wigs, hats and scarves to those for whom it’s a luxury.
  • Gas and parking.  Most of you reading this are fortunate to live close by but UNC Lineberger treats people from many miles away.  Raising just $25 can pay a patient’s gas bill. 
  • Food.  Yes, the kind no one wants but too many people need:  the kind that is in liquid form only and sometimes is delivered not by glass, but by tube.
If you know someone who’s been helped by these programs, and you feel comfortable doing so, please leave his or her (or your) story below.  Sometimes knowing real people benefit brings out the blush in all of us.  If you’d prefer I tell the story, write to me at donnabeth@chapelboro.com
Wishing a very pink month to all of us.