Meet Our Honoree - Marsha Smith Hill

Nothing can prepare you to hear the words, “You have cancer.”

Marsha Smith Hill I was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple negative breast cancer on Oct. 11, 2011, after a routine mammogram. I was a busy mother of four, a wife, a daughter, and a sister. Cancer didn’t run in my family, but I had one of the most aggressive types. All I could think was, “God, where did this come from?”

The following months would bring me to my breaking point, but my faith, my family, and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) carried me through. As the 2019 Cards for a Cure honoree, I am honored to share my story and ask for your help on behalf of people in our community who hear those shocking words: “You have cancer.”

I pray that cancer never touches your family, but the unfortunate reality is that it likely will affect you or someone you love. The Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center diagnoses and treats over 1,650 new cases every year. Your sponsorship of Cards for a Cure, on Oct. 19, 2019, at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, helps ensure that everyone in our region has access to life-saving treatment and compassionate support.

When I received my diagnosis, I wanted what we all want when faced with a major health crisis: the best doctors and the best possible treatment. After consulting oncologists outside the Tallahassee region, I chose MY oncologist here at home at TMH: Tim A. Broeseker, MD, Hematology Oncology. We clicked immediately. He was sensitive and knowledgeable, and his staff was wonderful.

It’s difficult to understand this unless you’ve been there, but the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center is a joyful place. Everyone is encouraging, and they become part of your family. Dr. Broeseker and his staff kept me going through 16 rounds of chemotherapy. At one point, I was bedridden with nausea and vomiting and severe pain and numbness in my hands and feet. I called Dr. Broeseker and said, “Doc, I don’t know if I can do this!” He and his staff helped save my life by assuring me that I would make it.

I have been cancer free for nearly eight years, and I thank God for my angels at TMH. They ARE angels, especially for patients who have no support network. I had friends and family who stood by my side, but there are many cancer patients who have no one. I know this because I saw them coming to chemotherapy alone week after week, and it broke my heart. I am so thankful to write this letter and tell you exactly how your support makes a difference.

Since 2006, we’ve raised over $1.25 million through Cards for a Cure. These funds stay in our community and help provide treatment for patients who can’t afford it and transportation and lodging for patients who must travel to Tallahassee for chemotherapy or radiation. The dollars we raise together also help pay for professional development and educational opportunities so TMH staff stay on top of the most advanced technology and research.

If you take one thing away from my letter, please let it be this: People with cancer need you. No one should have to face cancer alone. This is our opportunity to ensure that patients have the support they need to heal. They are counting on us!

Your support of Cards for a Cure always makes a difference. Please join us in partnering as a sponsor for the 14th Annual Cards for a Cure. You may use the enclosed brochure to choose your level of support.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!



Marsha Smith Hill
2019 Cards for a Cure Honoree

P.S. I have come so far since hearing those frightening words: “You have cancer.” Your support made a difference for me, and it’s making a difference now for thousands of people in our region. We can’t stop. Please choose your sponsorship level today and send in your commitment. Let’s keep the support going and make the 2019 Cards for a Cure the most
successful fundraiser yet!

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