22 U A B C O M P R E H E N S I V E C A N C E R C E N T E R

UAB and the Cancer Center are doing, it s an excit- ing time to be here.

UAB CCC: How did you get involved with the Advisory Board?

JW: I knew [Advisory Board president] Danny Markstein through Rotary. He was passionate about the Cancer Center, so he brought me on board. I m on a lot of boards in town, and I love the Comprehensive Cancer Center because of its mission and the people who work there. [Center director] Dr. Ed Partridge is a very special person because he s able to be the doctor and researcher as well as the face of the center to the community at large. I really admire him.

UAB CCC: Did you have a personal connection to cancer before joining the board?

JW: I was actually diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer before I moved to Birmingham six years ago. I lost my father to bone cancer, and my sister had breast cancer.

UAB CCC: How has surviving cancer impacted your life?

JW: For one thing, I try to stay in shape and be healthy, so I eat healthy, exercise, and I don t drink or smoke. A few years ago, I watched a documen- tary called Forks over Knives about the power of a plant-based diet, and I made the decision to become a vegan. One of the things I ve learned from being on the Advisory Board is that what we eat is quickly approaching smoking cigarettes as the leading cause of cancer. That, along with me

being a cancer survivor, was the catalyst for me becoming a vegan, and I think that is going to add to the quality of my life.

UAB CCC: What have you learned about the Cancer Center since joining the board that has surprised you?

JW: It was surprising to learn we were one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the United States and the only one in Alabama and the Deep South. That includes some big markets. I want to get out and tell as many people as possible about the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and to let them know that the best care is right here in their back yard. I believe in what we do and that it makes a difference.

UAB CCC: You will serve as president of the board in 2016. What would you like to see the board accomplish in the coming years?

JW: The Cancer Center is a cutting-edge orga- nization that can make a difference in individual lives as well as health care in general. For the board moving forward, we want to involve new people with new connections younger people, people from different walks of life to help us spread the word and tell the story to even more people. The board has done a great job, so my job is to continue that level of excellence and expand our mission even further into Birmingham and the surrounding region. What s great about the Cancer Center is that all you have to do is get people to come and see it, and they can t help but be impressed by the work being done here. There are a lot of good causes in Birmingham, but I m most proud to be part of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.

giving back

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. . . we want

to involve

new people

with new

connections

. . . to help us

spread the

word and tell

the story to

even more

people.