UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Magazine Fall 2015 - Page 18

inside view In Memoriam : Dolly Ashton O’Neal A PR IL 9, 1950 – M AY 18, 2015 “I wanted to make my experience with cancer into something positive. I found my passion, and I didn’t know what it was until I had cancer. Because of that, cancer made me a better person.” The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center mourns the loss of Dolly O’Neal, co-founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama and former Director of Development at the Cancer Center, who passed away on May 18 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Dolly was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994. Shortly after her remission, she co-founded the BCRFA with her friend Bruce Sokol. She served as BCRFA president for many years, helping it become the Cancer Center’s largest annual contributor. As the Cancer Center’s development director, she raised millions of dollars for research and patient care. Her signature project was the Rays of Hope campaign, which raised funds to build the Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center. In 2009, Dolly had her first recurrence with breast cancer, but was able to put the disease in remission thanks to a drug that was developed using BCRFA funds. As Dolly often said, she considered herself “the poster girl for cancer research.” Despite a third recurrence in 2013, Dolly continued to fight and raise money for research. She was honored by the University of Alabama Board of Trustees in 2012 with the establishment of the O’Neal-Sokol Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama Endowed Professorship, which recently became an endowed chair (see page 29). Dolly is survived by her husband of 37 years, Bert, her sons Bert Jr. (Susanne) and Camper (Mary Chollet), her daughter Amy Stevens (Johnathon), and her grandchildren Addison Grace O’Neal, Ella Louise O’Neal, Bert O’Neal III, Chollet Perry O’Neal, Edwin Camper O’Neal, Jr., and Johnathon Harold Stevens. 32 U A B C O M P R E H E N S I V E C A N C E R C E N T E R S AT U R D AY, F E B R U A R Y 2 0 , 2 0 1 6 6:30 PM THE KIRKLIN CLINIC® F E AT U R I N G C O C K TA I L D I N N E R B Y I Z C AT E R I N G ARTB LI N K® SI LENT AU C TIO N DA N C I N G TO T H E S O U N D S O F T H E R O C K C A N DY B A N D For more information on tickets or sponsorship opportunities, c o n t a c t A s h l e y F o s t e r a t ( 2 0 5 ) 9 3 4 - 0 0 3 4 o r a f o s t e r3 @ u a b . e d u