VGCC registers 350 potential lifesavers

A recent Vance-Granville Community College service project added some 350 people to the registry of potential bone marrow donors. In partnership with the Project Life Movement and the “Save the Fox” campaign, the college held events on each of its four campuses during the week of Oct. 26-29.

Students, faculty, staff and community members signed up and swabbed their cheeks to provide DNA samples at these events. The painless registration process took only a few minutes, but could save a life if a participant turns out to be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant. Such treatments are the only hope for many people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other blood cancers and diseases. Around 60 percent of those in need of a donation currently cannot find a donor match, according to Project Life, a national movement that started with students at Davidson College and has spread to more than 25 other schools and has registered more than 13,000 donors.

The “Save the Fox” campaign is named after North Carolina Superior Court Judge Carl Fox of Orange County. Judge Fox was diagnosed with blood cancer in April and has searched for a suitable bone marrow donor.

At a kickoff event on Oct. 26 at VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County, Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the college president, welcomed participants and commended the students, faculty and staff who contributed their time and energy to the project. “I love it when we take these opportunities to integrate service with learning and to give back to the community,” Dr. Williams said. “Like the students at Davidson College who started Project Life, our students are leaders of the future and can make a difference.” She particularly thanked the students in VGCC Health Sciences programs who took the lead in the registration drive. The very first student to register as a potential donor was Kala Williams of Henderson, a Pharmacy Technology major.

Also speaking at the kickoff was Project Life executive director David Lindsay, who received a successful bone marrow donation and helped found the organization with his fellow students at Davidson College. He thanked all of the participants in the VGCC registration drive. “This will create more chances that a patient like Judge Fox or a patient like me 25 years ago will have a second chance at a miracle,” Lindsay said. “That’s what the drive is all about: creating the possibility for miracles. Potentially everyone in this room is a match for someone you don’t even know.”

He noted that the decision to register as a potential donor, particularly for a young person, would have an impact for years to come. “Students who are 20 will be on the registry for 40 years,” Lindsay said. “Think about what it would feel like to get a call, find out you’re a match, and save someone’s life. I’m glad that Vance-Granville is now part of the Project Life movement, and I hope it becomes an annual event because the potential is immense.”

Attendees then heard remarks from VGCC Financial Aid Assistant Glynnis Wilson, who actually saved a life as a bone marrow donor. She was on the registry for more than eight years until 2006 when the National Marrow Donor Program called, informing her that she was a match. “People ask me if it hurt when I donated bone marrow,” Wilson said. “I always say that whatever I felt was nothing compared to what my recipient had endured. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

VGCC Radiography student and Save the Fox student leader Nick Kemp of Franklinton thanked all of the volunteers who made the drive a success. “What we are really working for is the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, hopefully multiple people’s lives,” Kemp said. “Everyone who registers is a potential lifesaver, maybe not for Judge Fox but perhaps for one of the hundreds of thousands of other people who are looking for a match.” He said that those who registered could look forward to a day “when your phone rings and you get the opportunity to help a fellow human being in need. I don’t know about any of you, but I hope my phone rings sooner rather than later.”

VGCC academic and career coach Seletha Pherribo, who helped spearhead the project, said that Save the Fox had helped unite the college and the community. After the first day at Main Campus, events were held at the Franklin County Campus on Oct. 27, the South Campus in Granville County on Oct. 28 and the Warren County Campus on Oct. 29. Pherribo thanked Project Life for its support. Project Life works with the Delete Blood Cancer organization to process the new potential donors. For more information on becoming a donor, visit or

YMCA Gobble Gallop Registration

The Henderson Family YMCA announces the 6th Annual Gobble Gallop.  Click here for a registration form.

Register at The Henderson Police Department from 8:00 until 8:45 A.M. the day of the race, Saturday, November 21 or online at  Canned food items brought to the race will benefit Area Christians Together in Service.

This is in partnership with Girls on the Run and Stride.

Girls on the Run® is a positive youth development program which combines an interactive curriculum and running to inspire self respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls. The core curriculum addresses many aspects of girls’ development – their physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. Lessons provide girls with the tools to make positive decisions and to avoid risky adolescent behaviors.

STRIDE gives boys the opportunity to share and explore issues that they face in school, at sports, in the community and at home. They learn the importance of being a good friend, working as a team, saying no to drugs and making good decisions. STRIDE wants to help boys become young men who KNOW what is right, CARE what is right and DO what is right.

VGCC to hold Bone Marrow Registration events

Vance-Granville Community College, in partnership with the Project Life Movement and the “Save the Fox” campaign, is planning a four-county bone marrow registration drive in October.

Members of the community are invited to join VGCC students, faculty and staff at one of four events being held on each of the college’s campuses: Monday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the student lounge in Building 2 on Main Campus in Vance County; Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the multi-purpose room on the Franklin County Campus near Louisburg; Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the seminar room (G1131) on South Campus, located between Creedmoor and Butner; and Thursday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Building 2 on the Warren County Campus in Warrenton.

There will also be a station set up outside on each campus to assist visitors from the community.

At each event, participants will have their cheek swabbed to provide DNA that will enter a growing bone marrow donor registry. The painless registration process takes only a few minutes, but could save a life if a participant turns out to be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant. Such treatments are the only hope for many people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other blood cancers and diseases. Around 60 percent of those in need of a donation currently cannot find a donor match, according to Project Life, a national movement that started with students at Davidson College and has spread to more than 25 other schools.

Project Life supports a local campaign called “Save the Fox,” named after North Carolina Superior Court Judge Carl Fox of Orange County. Judge Fox was diagnosed with blood cancer in April and needs a bone marrow transplant.

Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 55 and in good health to join the registry. A video from Project Life featuring Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is posted online at  to demonstrate the easy cheek swab process.

“We are excited that students are taking the initiative on this drive,” said VGCC academic & career coach Seletha Pherribo, who is helping to organize the events. Nicholas Kemp of Franklinton, a Radiography student, is coordinating the drive at the college’s South Campus, while Associate Degree Nursing student Erica Medlin of Oxford is coordinating it on Main Campus. Medical Assisting students at VGCC’s Franklin Campus are taking the lead there. The Student Government Association and other student organizations will also be supporting the effort. “We hope to make this an annual tradition at VGCC, and register as many members of our community as possible,” Pherribo added. “As the ‘Save the Fox’ campaign says, ‘together, we can save lives.’”

For more information, contact Seletha Pherribo at (252) 738-3518 or or Dr. David S. Lindsay at (828) 772-0365 or

Anyone who is unable to attend one of the VGCC events but wants to join the registry can find more information at

Alzheimer’s Caregivers

If you are:

  • A family or professional caregiver of a dementia patient
  • A member of the clergy, a student, or a volunteer desiring dementia education
  • A professional in need of 5 Continuing Education Units
  • A person with a desire to learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia

Alzheimer’s Conference Schedule

Sign up for the 8th Annual Alzheimer’s Caregiver Education Conference to be held at Vance-Granville Community College in the Civic Center on Thursday, October 15, 2015 from 8am-4pm.  Lunch will be served.

For more information, please contact Melissa Catlett at Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments at 252-436-2040, or Lisa Levine at Alzheimer’s North Carolina, Inc. at 800-228-8738.




As a group, southern states tend to lead the pack when it comes to being significantly overweight or, in technical terms, obese.

Arkansas is by far the leader in adult obesity with a trend line that is only rivaled by Mississippi.  Arkansas’ obesity rate is 35.9% with Mississippi at 35.5%, based on 2014 data.

North Carolina is in the middle of the pack, with an obesity rate of 29.7% in 2014.

Obesity in North Carolina:

  •    Year       % of Population       US Ranking
  •    1990                 12.3                            9th
  •    1995                 16.3                          12th
  •    2000                 20.9                           11th
  •    2005                 24.7                           17th
  •    2010                 29.4                           14th
  •    2014                 29.7                           24th

Cost of Obesity in North Carolina

Heart Disease, Arthritis and Obesity related Cancer are the major diseases that relate to both Medical Claims & Hospital Charges, not counting Lost Productivity on the job.

The chart below details the total cost of Unhealthy Lifestyles in NC.  Note that excess weight is the largest contributor to the overall cost; add in Diabetes, Hypertension and High Cholesterol and you can see the total cost of Obesity.

Obesity Chart


Drug Deaths Out of Control

Heroin and Prescription Drugs Deaths Out of Control in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, (CDC), drug related overdoses and deaths are out of control and have reached epidemic level.

In 2013 there were over 43,000 deaths or 120 a day caused by drugs, with heroin the leading drug of choice.  Drug deaths are now greater than deaths from being shot or deaths from motor vehicle crashes.  These numbers are two years old, and there is no way of knowing what the 2015 death toll will be, but we know that it is up if the epidemic prediction from CDC is accurate.

Why Heroin?  Because it is cheaper than prescription drugs and is readily available everywhere in the U.S.  Heroin has invaded the upper crust and poorest communities with equal speed and with the same results; increased overdoses and deaths, higher crime rate overall and more inmates behind bars.

The economic costs of those hooked on drugs is huge.  The most recent data pertaining to the economic cost is from 2007 and was stated to be at $193 billion.  One can only guess about 2015, but some have estimated the annual cost of lost productive time, healthcare and the judicial system including jails at over $300 billion.

The U.S. government has recognized the epidemic, resulting in more emphases on treatment and less on jail time.  There are over 23 million Americans undergoing treatment and recovery today.  The importance of this should not be lost on the U.S. citizens.  The Obama administration has recently announced a Recovery Branch at the Office of National Drug Control Policy to support those in recovery.

The DEA recently reported a whopping 232 percent increase in drug arrests along the U.S./Mexico border.  The DEA goes on to report that they believe there is a connection between drug cartels and street gangs.  Which of course take us to the street level where drugs are an everyday occurrence in many communities.  No city or county in the U.S. is exempt from the drug epidemic as recent local arrests have revealed.


Senior’s Health Insurance Information Program

Questions about Medicare?
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Choose from the list of questions below or call:
855-408-1212 (toll free)

Dog Flu in North Carolina

WIZS is an affiliate of the North Carolina News Network, and NCNN programming can be heard hourly, Monday-Friday from 5:55am until 4:55pm.  NCN News is also available on WIZS Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.

A highly contagious canine flu virus that blanketed the Midwest in the spring made it’s way to North Carolina in July. Dr. Patricia Norris — director of the State Ag Department’s Animal Welfare office — says just like the flu that we’re susceptible to, the dog flu is more worrisome with young dogs (puppies), older dogs, and those who may already have a medical condition. Otherwise…

So far only a handful of cases have been confirmed, but there may be more cases that health officials don’t know about, as canine influenza is not a reportable disease in North Carolina.

Changes to NC Immunizations for the 2015-16 School year

If you are a parent of a child within the Vance County public school system or a private institution it’s important to know the health requirements which have been mandated by the state for enrollment and entry into the NC education system for the coming 2015-16 scholastic year. This information is vital for a quick application and acceptance into Vance County public and private schools and can help you and your family understand how your child as well as the student body as a whole will be protected against the possible spread of illness in the classroom and at home. Recently, changes have been made to the North Carolina vaccination requirements for students entering kindergarten and seventh grade. Students entering these grades during the 2015-16 school year will now be required to receive the following immunizations prior to attendance at any of the North Carolina public or private schools:

  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hib Disease
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

While this list details the required vaccinations for those entering kindergarten and seventh grade, NC health care officials strongly suggest that you complete the full list of vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for elementary and high school students prior to the start of the new school year if they have not already received them. This list of vaccines, as well as qualifications for exemptions from these vaccines, can also be viewed at the “Immunizations for Children” page of the “North Carolina Department of Public Health” website which can be accessed here: