W.G. Champion “Champ” Mitchell doesn't think he would be here today if not for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. It was there that the UNC graduate and retired lawyer and business executive was treated for stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, in 2015.
Mitchell’s treatment was not quick. He originally underwent chemotherapy and went into remission. But a year later, the cancer was back. Lineberger developed a treatment plan with both chemotherapy and a stem cell bone marrow transplant. The treatment was successful.
Now, Mitchell and his wife Etteinne “ET” Mitchell are giving back to the University that saved his life with a $10 million gift to expand blood cancer research at Lineberger.
“The only reason I am here to write this check is because of Lineberger,” Champ Mitchell said. “The staff at the cancer hospital are phenomenal. They could not have been kinder, more professional or concerned. They are just fabulous people. They're the ones that got us through this.”
A large portion of the gift will fund immunotherapy research and clinical trials, Champ Mitchell said. Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that teaches certain cells to attack cancer without killing any other cells.