Our next NRMC Foundation Gala All Star is Verline Spillman Parker but to all those who adore her, she’s “MawMaw.” She is an iconic fixture at sporting events everywhere for all ages of boys and girls. Her motto is “I am going to live until I die” and dares anyone to try to slow her down!
After overcoming a battle with thyroid cancer over 20 years ago, this feisty, 81-year-old teenager was devastated and scared when she was told “there’s a spot on your lungs.” In March of 2022, Dr. Chris Ingram identified a concern and within 2 months chemotherapy and radiation began for stage 3 squamous non-small cell lung cancer.
She would have treatments every day for six weeks which meant daily road trips to Shreveport,LA. The requests to take a turn in being her chauffeur became overwhelming, so her daughter created an electronic sign-up entitled “Driving Miss Daisy (aka Verline) Kicking Cancer to the Curb”. Her children, grandchildren, cousins, and dear friends quickly filled up the entire six-week schedule without realizing they would be making unforgettable memories while being an integral part of her journey.
Verline was an absolute trooper and amazed her doctors at how well she tolerated her
treatments. She refused to let cancer stop her from living life to the fullest every day! There were times when treatments and scans had to be rescheduled around a football, basketball, softball or baseball game but she wouldn’t have it any other way!
Although she celebrated her last round of chemotherapy in August 2022, the follow-up scan in
October would unfortunately indicate the cancer had metastasized to her colon. In January 2023, she braved a successful colectomy, and is once again performing her celebratory dance and is “cancer free”!
At the young age of 82, monthly immunotherapy treatments keep her living her best life, chasing ball games, dancing at every opportunity, and spreading joy to all those she loves!