Guest Spotlight: PFC Duncan Sanders
In Spring 2019, we had the honor of getting to know PFC Duncan Sanders. Duncan was diagnosed in January 2019 with a form of leukemia. At the time, he was stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, working as a military intelligence systems maintainer/integrator for the US Army. He was responsible for repairing intelligence computers and networks used by military intelligence soldiers.
Soon after Duncan arrived at our hospitality house, his grandparents, Alice and Dan Wittwer, flew in from Carrizozo, New Mexico and stayed with him for two months while he received treatment at UNC Hospitals. Like with many of our guests who stay here for a spell, the three quickly fell into a routine of sorts, rising early for the morning’s first cup of coffee before heading to the hospital, then returning to Family House for a delicious meal prepared by our volunteer meal provider in the evening.
During Duncan's treatments, we witnessed the unwavering support of Alice and Dan. On one of his best days here, Duncan's Commander, First Sargeant, First Sargeant Major, and Sargeant First Class drove up from Ft. Bragg to hold a ceremony in our solarium, promoting him to Specialist (SPC) in the US Army. With his proud grandparents at his side, it was a day that none of us will forget.
As Duncan prepared to return to his home state of Florida to continue treatment before undergoing a bone marrow transplant, he shared some parting thoughts with us. Staying at Family House allowed him to receive treatment from a world-class medical facility without having to worry about where he was going to stay each night. While his grandparents credit the military for giving their grandson his life back, it's clear that their deep love and support restored his spirit so that, in due time, he can go return to Ft. Bragg to do what he loves: serving our country.
Photo: Sanders (center) with his grandparents as he receives promotion