Dr. Paul Walker has made that walk too many times to count. As chief of hematology/oncology at the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center, he sees up to 35 cancer patients a day. The news isn’t always good. “Oftentimes the discussion is not what your heart wants to have to talk about, but you know that you promised that you were going to be honest with them.”
Each week, Dr. Walker’s multidisciplinary team meets to discuss the treatment plan for every individual in their care. They get to know their patients as more than just cases. This personal connection “is making a difference,” Dr. Walker said. “It matters. It matters in every room you walk into, with everybody you take care of. You don’t give in to the cancer. And you don’t give up on the individual.” This attention and respect is part of what makes Vidant Health’s approach to cancer care unique.
Why give? Because it matters. It matters to everyone in your family. It matters to all of your friends. And it matters to the people that you don’t even know. Because it will greatly enhance the care of cancer in eastern North Carolina, and that’s going to impact everybody in more and more ways.Dr. Paul Walker
Dr. Walker looks forward to the opening of the new cancer tower, which will centralize patient services and create a peaceful atmosphere of comfort and support. Most importantly, though, he believes the tower will stand as a symbol of positivity. “Every individual with cancer has hope,” Dr. Walker said. “We’re going to take care of you. If there’s any hope of any meaningful recovery, we will do this. When the threshold’s been crossed, if there’s not any hope of a meaningful recovery, we’re not going to add to misery and suffering.” This individualized care and compassion is what matters most to Dr. Walker and to those he treats.
Helping others is the legacy Dr. Walker hopes to leave. He feels a responsibility to contribute. It’s why he’s dedicated his career to oncology, and why he and his wife are donors to the Vidant Health Foundation and the Vidant Health Cancer Program. “Why give? Because it matters. It matters to everyone in your family. It matters to all of your friends. And it matters to the people that you don’t even know. Because it will greatly enhance the care of cancer in eastern North Carolina, and that’s going to impact everybody in more and more ways. I could not look myself in the mirror and know that I had means to give and stepped away from that.”
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