Dayton Cole has always been a big believer in the power of education and research to transform lives. First as a student and now as a patient.
In 2008, Dayton took a break from a busy day as general counsel for Appalachian State University to get a routine check-up. But his blood work revealed something suspicious. Two weeks later he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood cells. He chose UNC Lineberger for treatment and from the get-go he remained his usual positive and optimistic self.
“A 17-day stay in an isolation room was not my idea of fun,” Dayton says. “But everyone—and I mean everyone—I interacted with during that time made my experience much more positive than I imagined cancer treatment could be. I felt more like a wealthy guest in a four-star hotel than a hospital patient. The nursing staff was incredible; they’re the ones who do much of the healing work, and they were great.”
His wife Cathy, who stayed with him in the hospital, set up a website at ww.caringbridge.org as a way to keep Dayton connected with friends and family.
Three months after the bone marrow transplant, and just a few hours after finishing a handball game, Dayton wrote:
“I awake each morning now with the expectation that I will feel better and be healthier than the day before; but, more than ever, I am grateful for each morning, for my family, and for you.”