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Learn About Beau

Hugh Parham "Beau" Stanley III was born June 19th, 2005, in Greenville, NC. In 2006 Beau was diagnosed with High Risk Stage III Neuroblastoma…
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Stories of Courage

The Stories of those affected by Cancer

In the Fall of 2006 after being a working mother with a nine-year old in elementary school, I decided to become a stay at home mom after the birth of a second daughter.  I had worked in the health care field for over ten years and something was telling me I needed to stay at home and spend time with my girls for a while.  I felt like God was pleading with me to stay at home with them, even if it meant sacrificing material things we were used to having when my husband and I both worked.

Little did I know how much the two years I had with my girls would mean when in March of 2008 my life literally came to a halt when I discovered an enlarged lymph node in my collarbone. The thought of this being Hodgkins immediately crossed my mind because my father was diagnosed with it when I was only four years old.  After a surgical biopsy was performed, the diagnosis of Stage 4 Hodgkins Disease was delivered to my husband and I.  Why was this happening to us?  I had no other symptoms other than the enlarged lymph node and it was already Stage 4. 

In the beginning I questioned everything, but then I started looking at how to turn this tragedy into a positive.  I wanted those I talked with to understand how my faith in God has brought me through this and if it wasn’t for Him I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am.  I have now completed nine of twelve treatments and thus far the chemo treatments are working.  I would ask that those who are considering helping with BeausBuddies to really think about how many types of cancer there are to research and how many different people, young and old, are affected by it every day.

To close, if you’ve ever thought about doing anything, whether it was volunteering, making a donation to charity, etc. and you said, “I’ll do it next time”, change your heart and do it today because we are not promised tomorrow.
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- Kim Williams

In May of 2005 Ray Warrick had just turned 47 years old and was having his doctors determine if the irritating stomach upset he had been experiencing was IBS or an ulcer.  In October, after numerous tests and 3 doctors an endiscopic ultrasound found the small tumor that had hidden itself behind the neck of his pancreas.  We knew the prognosis was bleak, but an encouraging surgeon kept us going.  Ray endured months of oral chemotherapy and radiation to slow and/or shrink the tumor before surgery.

On January 31, 2006 (the day before our 20th anniversary!) Ray had successful surgery that removed the tumor and the "small spot" that the surgeon saw on the liver. Unfortunately in June, after relapses and difficulty gaining strength, Ray's cancer metastisized to his liver.  Not one to quit, Ray endured yet another round of chemotherapy. Even as his lungs filled with fluid he vowed to keep fighting the cancer.  On August 14, 2006 (just shy of 10 months since his diagnosis) Ray Warrick, 48, father of two teenagers and married for 20 years to "the girl next door", died of pancreatic cancer. His spirit and strength live in all those who knew him and help them through each day without him.
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- Becky Warrick

Davis' story of courage began when he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma on June 5, 2002 at the age of 21 months. Our lives were changed forever that day. Several events led up to Davis' diagnosis. At the end of May 2002, he was breaking out in hives with some swelling on the left side of his face. He was treated for an allergic reaction. However, as the swelling subsided, a gumball sized knot was felt in his cheek by a kiss from his Papa. We immediately went to his pediatrician who contacted an ENT specialist. The specialist ordered a CT scan before seeing Davis. From the scan, the soft-tissue tumor was discovered. A biopsy was ordered and confirmed the malignancy.

The next year was planned out with many clinic and hospital visits. Davis followed a 52 week chemotherapy protocol at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Midway through, our family moved to Boston, MA for 2 ½ months for Davis to receive proton radiation therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital. On August 22, 2003, Davis was declared in remission! We are humbled and blessed that on August 22, 2008, Davis reached his “official” cure mark! God has been so good to Davis and our family. He truly worked a miracle! Through Davis, many lives have and continue to be touched. God opened and closed many doors throughout his battle to win the victory! We see life in a way that may not have been possible without this obstacle. Our wish is to share Davis' story to provide hope to the many other families that are fighting the battle called CANCER.
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- The Pugh Family

September of 2007 Christian injured his back riding the golf cart in the yard with his papa. I took him to the pediatrician and they prescribed him pain med's and put him on bed rest for a week. He seemed to recuperate well after this. A few weeks later it was bothering him again. we went and had X-rays and cat scans done to make sure everything was ok. They all showed what they called inflammation around the lower vertebras in the bottom of his back. They put him on a steroid and pain med's and he seemed to get better. over the next few months he would have pains but the pediatrician said this was to be expected since he had a back injury.

Around the first of April he started complaining of more pain in the same area. I took him back to the doctor and again they put him on more pain med's and they referred us to a back specialist. We had our initial appt there and they told us to come back in two weeks to run tests and to continue with the med's, and if anything got worse to immediately take him to the ER, this was on Thursday, April 16,2007. He stayed in bed all weekend, but on Sunday April, 2007 he woke up in so much pain he was throwing up. I immediately took him to the ER and from there he had a series of tests including a three hour MRI and several cat scans along with numerous X-rays. At 830 that night after being in the ER since 8:00 in the morning they came in and told us he has a tumor in his lower back on the L2,3,&4 vertebras. Christian was diagnosed with stage 3 Ewings Sarcoma, it was a large tumor and they were admitting him to the PICU and doing emergency surgery in the morning to remove it. They couldn't tell us what it was until it was removed. He stayed in surgery for 2 1/2 hours and then his neurosurgeon came out and told us it was malignant.

We stayed in the hospital after that for 21 days, through this we went from the PICU to the Oncology hall on 2 west room 238. we then met Dr. D, Dr Grossi and Dr Fuh. I saw him go through so much those first 21 days, I never imagined a child was that strong. We had our first chemo treatment at the beginning of may and after that we went home to numerous hospital visits after that. Christian has a very hard time with the chemo. Our protocol calls for 14 rounds of chemo and 28 treatments of radiation. We go in for treatment every other week and we are in there anywhere from 4-7 days depending on what type of chemo we are getting that round.

After we are released from the hospital we either go to AMU or to the clinic for two to three days to get fluids and Kytril through his port to keep him from getting so sick from the chemo. We now have 2 more radiation treatments and 6 more rounds of chemo. we are hoping to be finished before the first of the year. We have definitely had our share of time in the hospital. I know over the last 5 months we have spent more time there than we have at home, but once you get to know all the nurses there and the child life specialists it makes it a little easier. They become like your "other" family. I think Christian kinda looks forward to going there a little bit.

He knows he is going to be sick but he told me he gets to be with other kids that are like him. He doesn't feel so out of place there, and they are such great people. I don't think I could have gotten through those first couple of weeks without Atha. She was there with Christian and I through everything. I have definitely cried on her shoulder a many a day. So now Christian is about to turn 11 on November 2nd. He has started the fifth grade, although he is home schooled right now. Through everything he has kept his smile and positive attitude and that has helped me keep mine.
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- Christian's Mom, Shannon

Have you ever wondered how you would handle adversity? I’m not talking about how to creatively arrange a tight schedule. Or how to cook to please ALL children of one household. No, I mean the kind that puts the brakes on all of that. The life or death kind. Maybe you’ve already had to answer that question. I’ve thought a lot about that question since marrying my husband a year ago. See, my husband, Jimmy, and his family have been answering that question for 20 years. Jimmy’s father, Jim Neuhoff, has been battling-AND WINNING-against cancer for that long. For me, I could only think, “Could I do what Jim has done?” And my answer was “NO. I’m not that strong”.  But a few months after my husband joined the team for Beau’s Buddies, I was presented with ‘the question’…I was diagnosed with Stage II, Grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma. Breast cancer.

I am still learning how I will “do” with the question of facing such adversity. Some days I am superwoman. Some days I am not. But there are things that I have learned for sure already. For example: I know there are millions of people from all walks of life that are fighting this same fight every single day. They give me strength and determination and they remind me that this is a UNITED fight, not an individual one. I also know that there are millions of people out there who are fighting BESIDE those of us fighting this fight. Those who love us and care for us, who want to carry a part of our burden for us. Those who give us heart.

I also see those who are working to help our families continue to live their lives to the fullest while our families are helping us to live. For me, this is the meaning of Beau’s Buddies and how we seek to honor Beau Stanley’s life. By uniting in this fight both for those fighting and those affected by the fight, we can make a difference in the lives of the patients and families affected by cancer in Eastern North Carolina and beyond.
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- Susan Neuhoff

Beverly is a breast cancer survivor.  She was diagnosed in April, 2007.  She went through chemo and radiation and is now doing very well.  She continues to receive check-ups every three months.  She has such a fabulous, positive attitude. She actually kept our spirits up with her sense of humor and funny comments during her most trying times.

Although she was going through a very difficult time, she never failed to share her love, care, support and steadfast prayers for Beau and all of his family.  We salute dear Beverly and continue to pray that God will touch her and grant her a life filled with happiness and blessings.
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- Lois Hodges

Drake Hardee is the son of Michael and Dana Hardee.  Drake is 3 years old and has 2 older brothers and 1 younger brother.  On October 26th, 2007 Drake was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.  A tumor was found on his right adrenal gland, spots on hips and in his bone marrow.  Drake had surgery on October 30th, 2007 to removed the tumor and started chemotherapy in November 2007.  Drake is still currently receiving chemotherapy and will have radiation and a bone marrow transplant in the future. 

Drake has been a real trooper throughout his treatment and continues to be an inspiration to many people.  For more information on Drake and for updates on how he is doing go to
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Daddy was always a very active man, always on the go, and always willing to lend a helping hand, especially to his three daughters.  Everything was perfect, it was the night before Thanksgiving and he was at his house preparing to have his annual dinner with his daughters when he started to feel very weak and confused.  He was taken to Pitt County Memorial Hospital Emergency Department where he had a seizure and the doctors discovered a brain mass on the CT scan.  This is a man who was perfectly healthy until November 22, 2004 and this was the day that his journey to heaven began.  He was taken to surgery that Monday after Thanksgiving for a tumor resection, which was successful.  The biopsy came back as Stage III Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Cancer.  In January 2005, he began intensive chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  One year of rotating two different types of chemotherapy, he was able to be put in remission and see the birth of his first granddaughter on March 03, 2006.

On March 04, 2006 there was some unusual behavior noticed and changes with him, so his routine follow up MRI was pushed up to the following week and showed that not only had his tumor returned but it was now Stage IV Glioblastoma.  Surgery was not an option or radiation therapy.  The only option available at this time was chemotherapy.  Daddy did a lot of soul searching and made his decision.  He wanted to do enough chemotherapy so he could be around to see the birth of his second granddaughter.  So another battle of different types and rounds of chemotherapy began.  Initially the treatment helped shrink the tumor, but over time the cancer became immune to it.  So then it was time to switch drugs again.  Daddy fought the courageous battle for five months.  It started off him getting weaker and then loosing the ability to walk, and every week becoming more and more confused.

The last time that we were able to get him out of the house was August 04, 2006, two days after the birth of his second granddaughter.  While holding his granddaughter I remember him looking up at me, smiling and telling me that “he had met his goal”.  I knew then that Daddy’s journey here on earth was almost complete.  Daddy progressively got worse over the next 6 weeks and on September 29, 2006 he lost the courageous battle with cancer.

I tell you this story not sadden you, but to make you aware that you never know what is in store for you or someone you love.  I can only hope and pray that one day there will be a cure for the horrible disease called cancer and that no one will have to experience what my father or his friends and family had to go through.
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- Daughter, Kendall Jennings Commodore