A WVU Cancer Institute patient and her fiancé exchanged wedding vows in the infusion center at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center this past Thursday. Elizabeth Winner and Jack Cooper of Hinton, WV, said their I do’s before a crowd of doctors, nurses and support staff with Rev. Kim Belcher, staff chaplain, presiding over the ceremony. Winner is a patient of Dr. Michael Craig of the Alexander B. Osborn Hematopoietic Malignancy and Transplantation Program. She’s been coming to the Cancer Center for her treatment for five years now and has survived two unrelated donor allo transplants and graft versus host disease, a common complication of marrow transplantation, as well as an acute stroke about three months ago. The couple had originally planned to get married on a beach, but due to Winner’s health issues, decided to share their special day with their healthcare providers, the people they have come to know as their family. “Kim and the entire staff have been absolutely fantastic and we think the world of everyone who works here,” Winner said. “The Cancer Institute’s bone marrow transplant unit is exceptional, and I feel blessed.”
“This is your big day,” Cancer Institute Director Rich Goldberg, MD, told the couple when he stopped by to extend well wishes. “Thank you for having your wedding here and making all of us feel good.”
Several members of the WVU women’s basketball team made a surprise visit to the WVU Cancer Institute Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center this past week. It was an opportunity for them to talk with patients in the infusion center and present each with a silk rose. “We wanted to show our appreciation of what they are going through, and let them know that they aren’t alone,” said Lucky Rudd, a recent recruit to the Mountaineer team. “I hope our visit will brighten their day, if only temporarily,” said Chania Ray, #12 and a guard for the Mountaineers. Patients said it was very nice of the players to take time out to visit with them. Several patients, like Donald Bower, had their pictures taken with them. “I appreciate the rose, and plan to give it to my wife to enjoy as well,” Bower said.