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Betty and Bill Garwood

by maryruth.helms — last modified Oct 30, 2011 06:12 PM
The Garwoods have pledged to support research at UNC Lineberger to find cures for breast cancer.
Betty and Bill Garwood

Betty and Bill Garwood

The journey from Compromise Road, the small farming community where Bill Garwood grew up, to Chapel Hill took a young man from the depression era farm and one-room school house on a journey filled with trials and triumphs that few live to tell about.

Almost 90 years old this year, Bill vividly recalls the day his wife Betty was in the operating room having a mastectomy. "Terrified of what might happen, I walked for hours in the pouring rain. I remember making a solemn promise to do everything in my power to find a cure for breast cancer." Thankfully, Betty did extremely well and today, 30 years later, she is still cancer free.

Bill, a UNC '42 chemistry graduate, enjoyed a formidable career as a top scientist with Mobil where he is still fondly remembered as an inventor, mentor, and teacher. Earning patents and reaping the benefits of Bill's inventions facilitated the Garwoods' commitment to support the causes they cared about at UNC including the NC Botanical Garden, College of Arts and Sciences and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In fact, UNC Lineberger was the logical beneficiary of Bill's pledge to support research to find cures for breast cancer. He recalls trips from their home in Haddonfield, NJ to the Chapel Hill campus where he and Betty enjoyed attending UNC Lineberger annual events. Most memorable were conversations with members of the Lineberger family and cancer center directors Pagano (emeritus) and Earp. "Those annual visits reinforced for us that UNC Lineberger has the best team of scientists working to find answers to this complex disease."