Guest Spotlight: Eddie Byers

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This past February, Family House guest Eddie Byers was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare form of cancer that affects the body’s white blood cells. Hailing from Salisbury, North Carolina, this retired newlywed underwent a stem cell transplant at UNC Hospitals after chemotherapy did not rid his body of the cancerous cells.

During his stay at our hospitality house, many of us had the pleasure of getting to know this gentle, soft-spoken soul from Rowan County. When asked what staying at Family House has meant to him, Eddie shared, “you might be hanging low and you think you have big problems, but your problems don’t compare with others who are staying at the house. Yet everyone here talks about their problems like there is hope for tomorrow.” Eddie also told us that he appreciated the many volunteers who take time out of their busy days to do something for someone else. The help and comfort he received during his stay “really took a load off” of him, and for this, he was grateful for being able to stay here.

While mantle cell lymphoma has a poor prognosis, even with gold standard treatment, Eddie feels that having cancer has changed him for the better. “I enjoy every day that I get because my days could have been shortened.” With that positive attitude, he uplifts everyone he encounters.


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