Freelance writer, editor, ghostwriter, book planner + book coach. Former music journalist. I write about everything from business and culture to health and hiking.
Despite Obstacles, Living Donor Kidney Transplant Chain Brings Two Patients Fresh Hope
Michael Ulmer is retired but he stays busy. Always up for an adventure, he has skied everywhere from Colorado and Utah to Canada. But nothing could prepare him for the undertaking that consumed his life over the course of the past year. The Greensboro, NC native was at his beach house in Litchfield, SC last year when he found out he had double-lung pneumonia. He headed for MUSC, where he immediately tested positive for COVID-19.
“I was shocked,” says Michael, who had been diligent, as safe as...
Strangers No More: How a Good Samaritan’s Kidney Saved a Mother’s Life and Created Lasting Bonds with a Six-Person Transplant Chain
How a good Samaritan’s kidney saved a mother’s life and created lasting bonds with a six-person transplant chain.
Back on Top: Equipped with New Lungs, Cystic Fibrosis Patient Summits Yosemite’s Half Dome
John Hoffman could see the summit within reach. He'd dreamt of conquering the 19-mile trek to the top of Yosemite National Park's Half Dome for a decade. Elevation? 5,500 feet. But ever since his lung transplant in 2019, he had become more determined to reach the top of this mountain, both a literal and metaphorical goal.
As a lifelong sufferer of cystic fibrosis, Hoffman learned to live with his condition and continue his love of the outdoors, until five years ago when walking across a room ...
After Helping Transplant Patients and Families For a Decade, MUSC Social Worker Becomes a Living Donor
James Island resident Mary Catherine Dubois has known for over a decade that she wanted to become a living donor.
South Carolina State University And Hollings Connection Continues To Grow With LOWVELO
As Ciera Miller logs 50 miles Nov. 2 as part of an outdoor bike ride raising money for cancer research, she’ll have one person in mind: Her mother, Yolandra Dotson. At 41 years old, Dotson recently lost her life to cancer. She had already survived breast cancer once before facing yet another battle with cancer this year.
Despite what she was going through, Miller says her mother did everything with a smile. Dotson was always sure to ask about her kids — Miller has one younger brother — and st...
Whipple Warrior: Patient To Ride 50-Mile Route 10 Months Post-Op
Come Nov. 2, Mary Nell Goolsby will be climbing on a bike to ride 50 miles. Her son, Turner Waldrup, 26, and her brother, Lee Goolsby, 47, will ride double that.
For Goolsby, who still is recovering from major surgery to treat a rare cancer, it’s ambitious. It’s also intimidating. Mostly, though, it’s energizing.
Better Than Ever: Cancer Survivor To Ride LOWVELO With Doctor Who Saved His Life
London native Nick Charalambous thought he had experienced the worst when a 2013 bicycle accident left him with a broken back and broken neck. Not to be defeated, the NewSpring Church pastor dug into rehab and set his sights on a triathlon in 2015.
"I literally had started training, and it was maybe a week or two, if that, when I started feeling these strange pains in my neck," he remembers. "It was odd enough that I went to the doc. But because I'd had a couple of breaks in my neck, and I wa...
MUSC surgeon to ride LOWVELO with parents, who’ve both had cancer
Much like her parents, MUSC Health surgeon and researcher Heather Evans, M.D., is an overachiever. It’s not hard to see where she gets her drive.
Take her mom, Nancy Evans. In 2011, Nancy, at age 71, was diagnosed with cancer and began cycling.
“I wanted to buy a bike,” Nancy said. “And so after I got the diagnosis, I sat in the car outside the bike shop and I said, ‘Now, are you going to go in there and buy a bike like you want or are you thinking you might die next year from lymphoma?’ And ...
A Routine Oral Cancer Screening Detected a Summerville Mom’s Tongue Cancer Early Enough to Cure
Summerville resident Kimmy Curry had experienced no symptoms that anything was amiss prior to her routine six-month dental check-up. But it was during this appointment that the dental hygienist performed an oral cancer screening and discovered a sore on Curry's tongue.
In October 2014 an oral surgeon performed a biopsy and within days, Curry learned that she had tongue cancer. "Initially, I was devastated with my diagnosis," she says. "My main concern was for my children."
A wife and mother o...
From Survivorship to Sisterhood: Jennifer Harper’s Survivors’ Fit Club is changing the lives of breast cancer patients
MUSC Health Radiation Oncologist Jennifer Harper, M.D., knows that when women reach the end of their cancer treatment, their health journey is far from over. The healing process that follows is not only physical but also mental.
"After a breast cancer diagnosis, you have to learn to deal with this slight uncertainty," she says. "There's no lab test at the end of your treatment that says ‘You're done; the breast cancer will never come back.' So they have to learn to deal with this."
Cynthia Hall is living her best life after breast cancer
Cynthia Hall feels renewed when immersed in nature. Surrounded entirely by trees is where her soul is content. She has hiked many mountains, reached unimaginable peaks, but none of those tests of endurance and strength would prepare her for the breast cancer diagnosis she received in 2018.
Lung Cancer During a Pandemic
Robert E. "Gene" Shields knows healthcare. From being a hospital administrator in the Air Force Medical Service Corps for most of his career to working for an insurer before retirement to making 10 trips to the OR over the course of his life, he's seen the world of healthcare from all directions. But dealing with lung cancer during a pandemic was entirely new to him.
After a Bone Marrow Transplant, 19-Year-Old Fulfills Birthday Wish of Collecting Toys for Kids in Need
Richmond, Va., native Lucas Perdue knew something was wrong when, as a fit 18-year-old with a lifelong dream of becoming a Marine, he found himself breathless after doing only three pull-ups last summer. It was during a bootcamp training session that he also attempted a short run and was unexpectedly overcome with fatigue.
Living Donor's Kidney Helps Save the Life a Friend's 21-Year-Old Daughter
Pam Herrington didn’t realize how good her friends were until she lost her husband about a year ago and those closest to her surrounded her with support. So when her friend of 40 years, Debbie, mentioned that her daughter Sophia would one day need a kidney transplant, Herrington knew what she would have to do.
“I knew in my heart that I would get tested to be a match,” she says. “I felt that this is what I’ve got to do.”
How One Patient Took on Cervical Cancer, Childbirth, and a Pandemic All at Once
In 2019, Hamida Patrick had just finished up a months of post-wedding travel. She and her husband spent most of 2018 everywhere from California, via a 50-day road trip, to Israel and Southeast Asia. Upon her return, she had begun her own concierge business when she got the good news: she was pregnant.