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Published on September 29, 2015

When Caregivers Become Family

Patient helps others with cancer through donations

Skipper Brawley and his care team.

From the moment he walked into Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, Wallace “Skipper” Brawley, Jr., experienced an outpouring of care.

“Before I even walked through the entrance, everyone was cheerful and welcoming me with ‘howdy-dos,’” Brawley said. “As I continued walking into the center, that loving welcome only grew.”

Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, Brawley completed his last treatment at Gibbs on June 9, 2015. Prior to his diagnosis, Brawley said he didn’t have any symptoms. His physician detected a high count in his Prostate-Specific Antigen Test during a checkup. After his diagnosis, he was treated at Gibbs with radiation therapy.

Brawley came to Gibbs five days a week for radiation and joked that he wishes he could have come seven days a week. After working many years in the healthcare field and visiting hospitals all over the world, Brawley said he never saw the level of care anywhere else that he experienced at Gibbs.

“I’m alive today because of their care,” he said. “Attitude is one of the most important factors of healing. Every time I came, I was greeted with hugs and loving, tender, sweet care that was also so professional.”

Brawley shared his thanks through contributions to the Spartanburg Regional Foundation.

“It’s so special when our patients want to recognize our staff for the care they received,” said Kristy Caradori, executive director of the Spartanburg Regional Foundation. “It’s especially exciting that Mr. Brawley was so pleased with his care that he wanted to make sure others have access to the level of care and compassion he experienced at Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute.”

Brawley’s contributions will benefit the Cancer Special Needs Fund over the next three years. The fund supports cancer patients with special needs by helping to pay for medication, transportation and unexpected expenses.

Brawley was impressed that his radiation oncologist, Drew Monitto, MD, would sit with him at each appointment; Dr. Monitto got to know him and explained every side effect of his cancer treatment.

“It’s always an honor when a patient takes money out of their own pocket to help the healthcare system and other patients,” Dr. Monitto said. “It shows we are doing the right thing.”

Brawley also contributed to clinical research at Gibbs and the future expansion of the Gibbs campus at Pelham.

“I was always treated with dignity and respect,” he said. “You can’t find that anywhere else.”

For more information on how to donate to any of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s services, please call the Foundation at 864-560-6727 or visit

About the Spartanburg Regional Foundation

The Spartanburg Regional Foundation is a charitable organization whose primary mission is to benefit the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System through direct support of community programs and services that share Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s mission of providing quality health care to our community.

About Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) offers a full spectrum of services through four hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Union Medical Center. SRHS also includes Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, 113-bed long-term care, skilled nursing facility that offers nursing care and rehabilitation services. SRHS provides unparalleled oncological care through the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute. The multidisciplinary Medical Group of the Carolinas has more than 300 physicians across seven counties in two states. SRHS employs nearly 6,000 associates and offers outpatient surgery centers, a vibrant post-acute division, a Level I Trauma Center, and Advicare, a licensed Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Advicare provides Medicaid services to residents throughout the state of South Carolina. U.S. News and World Report ranked Spartanburg Medical Center the No. 1 regional hospital in South Carolina in 2014-15. The Commission on Cancer gave Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute its Outstanding Achievement Award.

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