Guest Spotlight: Terry & Wanda Morrison

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Married for 52 years, Terry and Wanda Morrison are a retired couple from Wilmington, North Carolina.  Two years ago, Terry was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), a type of cancer that starts in blood-forming cells of the bone marrow and invades the blood.
They had just returned home after a trip of a lifetime to Europe and Africa when they learned that the CMML rapidly advanced to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes abnormal white and red blood cells. Terry’s initial treatment at UNC Hospitals included in-patient chemotherapy through a clinical trial. This led to an eventual bone marrow transplant.

Since the spring of 2020, Terry has thankfully been in remission and now makes the nearly two-and-a-half-hour drive to Chapel Hill with Wanda for follow-up appointments. They usually spend just one night here, but when they are here, they are inseparable. On a recent morning, we found Terry right beside Wanda in the Pine kitchen as she was preparing a hot breakfast for them.

Wanda tells us that Family House “is a very heartwarming place that reminds her of family. Everyone around here is like family to us. It provides us with a place where our loved ones can visit.” Terry shared “The other patients we meet here are very supportive and we can be supportive of them.”

It’s not surprising that numerous studies conclude that a healthy marriage protects your physical and mental health and increases your life expectancy. According to Terry and Wanda, the secret to their long and happy marriage includes top-notch medical care, lots of romance, and laughter. That said, they undoubtedly have many, many good years ahead of them.

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