Author Archives: UNC REX Healthcare

Breast Cancer Myths vs. Facts

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we want to dispel some common myths about breast cancer that you often hear.

Myth: All lumps are cancerous.

Fact: Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer.  But if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast tissue, it should never be ignored. It is very important that you see a physician for a clinical breast exam. He or she may possibly order breast imaging studies to determine if this lump is of concern or not.

Myth: Only women get breast cancer.

Fact: Each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. While this number is still small, men should also check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam while in the shower and reporting any changes to their physicians.

Myth: If you have a family history of breast cancer, you are likely to develop breast cancer, too.

Fact: While a family history of breast cancer can place you in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Statistically only about 10% of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.

Here are the familial risks of breast cancer according to degree of family relation:

  • If you have a first degree relative with breast cancer: If you have a mother, daughter, or sister who developed breast cancer below the age of 50, you should consider some form of regular diagnostic breast imaging starting 10 years before the age of your relative’s diagnosis.
  • If you have a second degree relative with breast cancer: If you have had a grandmother or aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk increases slightly, but it is not in the same risk category as those who have a first degree relative with breast cancer.
  • If you have multiple generations diagnosed with breast cancer on the same side of the family or if there are several individuals who are first degree relatives to one another, or several family members diagnosed under age 50, the probability increases that there is a breast cancer gene contributing to the cause of this familial history.

Fact: Early Detection is Key

When it comes to breast cancer awareness, the most important thing to remember is that early detection is key. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 98%.  Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.

Learn more about the REX Comprehensive Breast Care Program and how to make an appointment for a mammogram at



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CPR in 3 Simple Steps


Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating and the victim loses consciousness and collapses. It isn’t always caused by a heart attack. Nationally, if a victim of sudden cardiac arrest collapses outside of a hospital, his/her chances of survival if a bystander does not start CPR immediately is less than 8%. You can double or triple a loved one’s chances of survival by starting CPR.

These are 3 simple steps to save a life if you see a teen or adult who has collapsed:

  1. Check to see if they are responsive and breathing normally.The best way to determine if someone is unresponsive and may need CPR is to tap the victim and shout “Are you OK?” while checking to see if they are breathing normally. Breathing normally does NOT include snoring, gurgling, or gasping.A victim must be on his/her back on a hard flat surface, preferably on the floor, for CPR to be effective.
  2. Call 911.
  3. Compress hard and fast on the center of the chest.Interlock fingers and place palm of one hand over the center of the victim’s chest.Keeping arms straight and elbows locked, push straight down hard – at least 2 inches. It is better to push too deep than not deep enough.The hands should not come off the chest or “bounce” between each compression, but downward pressure should be completely released to allow the heart to refill with blood.Push hard and fast in the center of the chest (about 100 times per minute) when doing compressions on an unresponsive victim who is not breathing, or not breathing normally once 911 has been called. Do not stop until help arrives, unless the victim begins moving or speaking.

Stop by our booth at the North Carolina State Fair now through October 23, 2016, and we can teach you how to save a life!

capture2NC State Fair

Education Building (near Gate 12), Booth 37-38
1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607

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Improving Care for Patients with PAD through Research


Peripheral artery disease (PAD) affects an estimated 8 million people in the U.S. However, severity of symptoms can vary widely.

Patients with relatively mild PAD may experience cramping in their limbs during exercise—known as claudication. Patients with the most severe PAD are afflicted with ischemic ulcers and gangrene as cells and tissues that are deprived of oxygen-rich blood begin to die.

Several devices, like stents or balloons, are available to help relieve the blockages that cause PAD. But because most of the data on their use comes from clinical trials aimed at regulatory approval, and because such trials utilize patients with a relatively standardized severity of symptoms, there is often little guidance for clinicians whose patients have milder or more severe PAD.

One UNC REX Healthcare doctor is leading the effort to change that.

George L. Adams, MD, MHS, FACC

George L. Adams, MD, MHS, FACC

George Adams, MD, MHS, Director of Cardiovascular and Peripheral Vascular Research at UNC REX Hospital, is leading a prospective, observational, multicenter study called LIBERTY 360. In February 2016, the study completed enrollment 1,204 patients at 51 sites across the U.S. The enrolled patients had symptoms that ranged from mild to severe (physicians use the Rutherford scale to rate severity) requiring endovascular treatment for an arterial blockage located within the target area beginning slightly above the knee, through the foot.

“In the guidelines currently, you are supposed to manage the symptoms of patients with mild PAD and amputate in the most severe cases,” said Adams. “So the question we’re trying to answer is if we accept all classes of patients, what can we do for them and what is the outcome?”

The study hopes to gather data on the clinical and economic impact of endovascular device interventions – like stents or balloons – by following patients for up to five years. During that time, patient risk scores will be developed as a clinical predictor of outcomes to provide guidance for future interventions.

Initial 30-day results, which Adams recently presented in a late-breaking presentation at the Amputation Prevention Symposium in Chicago, have already suggested a new way of looking at treatment.

The results saw quality of life improvements in patients from across the Rutherford scale. “The take home message is maybe we should be intervening earlier and trying to intervene in more severe cases,” said Adams.

Ideally, intervening with endovascular devices among a wider range of patients will improve outcomes all around, including reducing the number of amputations required in patients with the most severe PAD. But for now more data need to be gathered.

To find out if you are at risk for PAD, please take our free online health risk assessment. To learn more visit

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Bee Sting or Back-to-School Bug?

REX Express Care of Raleigh

REX Express Care of Raleigh: 3050 Duraleigh Road

With the beginning of the school year, many families are juggling new schedules. When a family member gets sick or injured, it can throw even the most organized among us for a loop.

Regardless of the ailment, our REX Express Care team is here to help you at our new Raleigh location at 3050 Duraleigh Road.  We’re open seven days a week from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

REX Express Care is available to help treat conditions that can come up suddenly and get you or your loved one back into the routine quickly. With five convenient locations throughout the Triangle, we’re close to home, school or work.  Check the estimated wait time for a location near you at

Lab and X-ray services are also available onsite for your convenience. Our care team provides services and treatments for common conditions, including:

  • burn/wound care
  • cold/flu
  • earaches/ear infections
  • insect bites/stings
  • minor lacerations
  • seasonal allergies
  • skin rash/poison ivy
  • sore throat/strep throat
  • mild asthma
  • sutures
  • sports physicals
  • UTI/painful urination

We are here to help you feel better, faster!

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Getting to Know PAD

Lori Adkins_croppedLori Adkins graduated in 1998 with a BA in Speech Communications from UNC Chapel Hill. After working in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to school and received an associate in Science in Nursing Degree from  Wake Technical Community College in May 2013.  She is currently pursuing a BSN  from UNC Wilmington.
Over the past three years, Lori has worked with multiple cardiac populations including CHF, CABG, PCI and Arrhythmia  patients.  She enjoys helping her patients understand Cardiac Risk factors. Lori is married and the proud mother of  two beautiful children.

About eight million Americans have Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), and many people mistake the symptoms for something else. Pain, cramping, and tiredness of the leg, and/or hip muscles that increases with activity and decreases with rest are all signs of PAD. PAD often goes undiagnosed and puts patients at greater risk for heart attack. If left untreated, it can also lead to gangrene and amputation.  If the blockage occurs in a carotid artery, it can cause a stroke.  Managing PAD begins with knowledge. REX Vascular Specialists encourages you to learn all you can about PAD and other cardiovascular disease. Knowing your risk factors and living an active heart-healthy lifestyle may ward off this debilitating disease.

What is PAD?

clogged arteryPeripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is caused by fatty build-up, also known as atherosclerosis, in the inner walls of the arteries.  This build-up causes a blockage and affects normal blood flow.

Where does PAD occur?

Common sites for PAD are the iliac artery (in the lower torso), the femoral artery (in the groin), the popliteal artery (at the knee) and the tibial arteries (at the shin and calf). PAD can also occur in arteries of the kidney and other organs.

What are the symptoms of PAD?

Common symptoms of the early stages of PAD may include cramping, fatigue, heaviness and pain or discomfort in the legs and buttocks during walking or activity. The pain and discomfort usually goes away when activity stops. This is known as “intermittent claudication.”

How is PAD diagnosed?

PAD diagnosis begins with a medical history and physical exam. REX Vascular Specialists offer a comprehensive package of screenings along with a one-on-one results consultation. The comprehensive screening includes blood pressure, body mass index, full cholesterol panel, and ankle brachial indexes.  The ankle-brachial index (ABI) result is used to predict the severity of peripheral arterial disease (PAD).This test is done to screen for peripheral arterial disease of the legs. It is also used to see how well a treatment is working (medical treatment, an exercise program, angioplasty, or surgery).The ABI result can help diagnose peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Why get screened for PAD?

PAD can affect vital arteries that lead to the kidneys, stomach, arms, legs and feet. If PAD is not treated, it can lead to gangrene and amputation of limbs. If the blockage occurs in the carotid artery, it can lead to a stroke. Most patients with PAD have a higher risk of death from heart attack and stroke.

To find out if you are at risk for PAD, please take our free online health risk assessment. To learn more visit

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Napping: Is it good for everyone?

woman napping hammock

Everyone knows long hours of sleep are essential for small children to grow up strong and healthy. But what about adults? A brief nap during the day can be the perfect solution for some. Dr. Adnan Pervez, a sleep medicine physician at REX Pulmonary Specialists answers four key questions about the health benefits and risks for taking a quick daytime snooze.

1. What are the benefits of napping?
Taking a short nap can offer health benefits such as:

  • Improved mood
  • Increased relaxation
  • Increased alertness
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Improved performance
  • Improved memory

“Memory consolidation is one of the major benefits of a good long night of sleep,” Dr. Pervez says.

2. Who should consider taking a nap and why should they?
Depending on your daily schedule, napping can be beneficial under certain circumstances.
Habitual napping
occurs when you take a brief snooze at the same time each day. “People who are consistently unable to get enough sleep at night would benefit from a habitual nap, taken at the right time and for the right duration,” says Dr. Pervez.

Planned napping is particularly useful for night shift workers. “For many people a nap before they depart for their night shift, or during a break in the early part of the shift, in combination with strategic exposure to light and use of caffeine at the right time can help them cope with an unusual schedule,” Dr. Pervez says.

drowsy drivingEmergency napping is advised when you’re too sleepy to continue a crucial activity, like if you feel drowsy while driving. “If drivers are feeling sleepy, they are typically advised not to rely upon extraneous measures like rolling down the window or turning up the music. Instead, we advise people to park at a rest stop and take a short nap before continuing,” says Dr. Pervez.

3. When and how long should you nap for?
For people who would benefit from napping, Dr. Pervez recommends a 10 to 20 minute nap in the early afternoon. At the most, try limiting your naps to no more than 30 minutes. “The longer or later we nap, the greater the chances that it may prevent us from going to sleep at a decent hour at night,” Dr. Pervez says.  Napping for longer periods can also cause sleep inertia (a state of feeling groggy and disoriented when awakening from a deep sleep) which may interfere with functioning in the period immediately following the nap.

woman_nappingIt is also important to remember that while short naps may be beneficial for some individuals, excessive napping may be a sign of serious medical conditions like sleep apnea or narcolepsy. Establishing consistency in your sleep habits is key to a healthy lifestyle. Both sleep deprivation and excessive sleepiness can have serious health consequences.

The recommended amount of sleep at night depends on a person’s age.  For example, adults between the ages of 26 and 64 should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night. View the National Sleep Foundation’s recommended sleep times chart for more details.

4. What kind of environment should we nap in?
Protect your time and environment; sleep in a dark and quiet area. Resting in a tranquil and dark room will increase your chances of falling asleep faster. Powerful sources of light in a room can have an impact on the quality of your sleep.

Light and darkness are strong signals that let your body know it’s time to rest. Your brain continues to process sounds while you’re sleeping. Noise can interrupt your dozing, leading you to wake up and shift between stages of sleep.

Learn more about our sleep services offered at the REX Sleep Disorders Center. Plus, find out if you’re at risk of a sleep disorder by taking our Sleep Aware health assessment.

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5 Reasons Teens Should Limit Caffeine

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that teenagers consume no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day. (See a chart from the Center for Science in the Public Interest that shows how much caffeine is in popular drinks.) Why? Consuming high amounts of caffeine can cause irritability, nervousness, rapid heartbeat and anxiety.


Here are five more good reasons to help teens limit their daily caffeine intake.

  1. Empty calories — many caffeinated drinks also have lots of sugar and fat. Drinking too much soda may rob teens of valuable nutrients like calcium.
  2. Dental problems — drinking coffee or tea can stain teeth. The sugar in many caffeinated beverages can lead to cavities.
  3. Trouble sleeping — caffeine can make it hard to fall asleep at night, which could lead to insomnia and daytime sleepiness.
  4. Heart and head — large amounts of caffeine can raise blood pressure in some people. It can also cause headaches.
  5. The cost — caffeinated beverages can be expensive, especially when you buy coffee drinks from popular coffee chains. Think about how much money you could save if you didn’t spend so much on caffeine!
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Strawberry S’mores

Go fruity with this twist on a summertime favorite! Try this sweet three-ingredient treat without going overboard on the calories. You can also add in raspberries, blueberries or bananas for an extra burst of fruity flavor!


Prep time: 5 minutes
Number of servings: 1


  • 2 strawberries
  • 1 graham cracker (broken in half)
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat vanilla yogurt


  1. Rinse the strawberries in water.
  2. Slice the strawberries.
  3. Add the yogurt and strawberries to half of graham cracker.
  4. Top with the other half of graham cracker.

Nutritional information per serving: 57 total calories; 1 g fat; 2 g protein; 9 g carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 64 mg sodium.

Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture,

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Pokémon Go Safety Tips

Pokémon Go surpassed Candy Crush Saga to become the most popular mobile game of all time with the highest amount of active users ever recorded. Here are some tips to keep in mind while playing:

  1. Like the game says, be aware of your surroundings. Don’t play while driving or walking around roads or parking lots. Also, be mindful of your own hiking skill level if you take on challenging terrain while trying to catch that elusive Dratini.
  2. If you plan to play for an extended period, prepare yourself! You should always stretch before exercising. Also, consider taking water with you, it’s hot out there.
  3. Be respectful of real world locations like museums, hospitals, or churches. Some public spaces may take exception to random trainers walking through checking in at a Pokestop. Use your best judgement.
  4. Be careful late at night or visiting remote locations. There have been some reports of robberies. Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations.
  5. Encourage others to play with you. It is more fun to play with other people, and they can get some exercise too!
  6. Volunteer! Some local animal shelters encourage the community to take their dogs for walks. Why not stop by and walk a dog while you play?
    1. Saving Grace Animals for Adoption
    2. Wake GOV Animal Center
    3. SPCA of Wake County 
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West Virginia Flood 2016

On June 23, 2016, a devastating flood hit the state of West Virginia, taking 26 lives and damaging or destroying more than 1,200 homes. Jim McGrody, Director of Culinary and Nutrition Services, and three UNC REX chefs, Ryan Conklin, Paul Berens, and Steve Pexton volunteered with Mercy Chefs to cook meals for victims, volunteers and first responders in Greenbrier County. In this blog post, Chef Jim McGrody shares his experiences in White Sulphur Springs and Rainelle, West Virginia with his team.


(L-R) Steve Pexton, Ryan Conklin, Jim McGrody, and Paul Berens

Rainelle West Virginia, social media and an old friend

How those things will permanently affect four UNC REX chefs from North Carolina

Last weekend while watching TV, I saw a news clip about the massive flooding that was occurring in West Virginia. As I watched I thought to myself, I know people in West Virginia, and I hoped that they were OK. And like possibly many Americans that was all the thought I really gave it. I hoped that they would be safe but even though it is a state close to North Carolina, it seemed a world away.

That all changed when my old friend and classmate from the Culinary Institute of America, Sue Bastian and her husband Paul Brian Ciciora, started posting pictures on Facebook of the massive destruction. We had been friends for years and followed each other lives through social media.

The pictures on Facebook showed me how they were smack in the middle of a major disaster. I was glued to what was going on there. Sue was a great friend of mine while we were students at the CIA some 26 years ago. I was worried and started thinking about how I could help.

I reached out to her husband Paul who was on site working at a mobile kitchen in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. I asked him how I could help and he told me to check out the nonprofit group he was volunteering with. Paul is a full-time chef at the Greenbrier resort. The resort was closed due to the flooding, so many of the chefs that worked there were volunteering to help feed hundreds of people with absolutely no way to cook food for themselves. It was a community in absolute distress.

The nonprofit he directed me to was Mercy Chefs. This group is out of Virginia and was born out of the need following Hurricane Katrina. They travel the country going from disaster to disaster, helping people not only through nourishment but through spiritual healing as well. I checked them out and knew I had to be part of this. I reached back out to Paul and said that I wanted to help. He gave me the number to the chef in charge, Fred Tiess. After a few emails to Mercy Chefs and to Fred, I saw they desperately needed help. They pride themselves on professionally prepared meals served to people in need. I wanted on this train and said I want to volunteer. I was going to drive to West Virginia some 4 1/2 hours way. I quickly thought of my UNC REX Healthcare chefs and realized that we could use them too.

I texted Ryan Conklin, Paul Berens, and Steve Pexton late Sunday night June 26 and laid out my plan. I told them about my friend, and how I connected on Facebook and how the town they lived in was devastated. I told them about Mercy Chefs and how they needed help and would they want to come with me. In very short order I got return texts: “count me in,” “when do we go” and “hell yeah.” I was so proud of them — they had only basic information but they wanted to help and jumped right on this.

So there we were the next day with blessings from UNC REX leadership (who rock, by the way), driving from Raleigh. Our truck was loaded down with suitcases, knife kits, chef coats, aprons and side towels.

Chef Ryan Conklin drives the Mercy Chefs truck filled with knife kits, chef coats, aprons, side towels and food.

Chef Ryan Conklin drives the Mercy Chefs truck filled with knife kits, chef coats, aprons, side towels and food.

We arrived in White Sulphur Springs about 1 p.m. As we rolled down the highway, everything looked normal. Every once in a while, we would see some damage to trees and dirt and debris on the road but nothing serious that would make us believe a disaster had occurred. We then got off the exit to White Sulphur Springs that all changed.

Our first image was massive destruction of the creek beds, cars upside down, sheds, garages and debris all over the place. We saw a lumber yard that looked like it had been blown up. Construction crews were hard at work everywhere. Front end loaders, bobcats, dump trucks all over the place. People were swarming trying to clean up this major devastation.  We saw tractor trailers literally ripped apart and left in a pile of shredded metal. It was humbling to see such damage.

We didn’t really know where to go so we pulled into a grocery store parking lot. When we did we saw Army medevac helicopters, coming and going.  There were Army medics and civilians giving out tetanus shots, cleaning supplies and bottled water. We had never seen anything like this.

We got to the Mercy Chefs site and were immediately impressed. We met the key players and told them to put us to work. Lunch had already been served so we started to work on dinner. We diced onions, roasted pork loins, cut cabbage and made desserts. We made side salads and generally did whatever they asked of us. This was not our gig — we were volunteers and wanted to help in any way. So if that meant wash dishes or take trash to the dumpster, that is what we did. It was very satisfying to be there.

What we saw was an organization that was deeply committed to helping people. The permanent staff of Mercy Chefs are amazing. Their head chef Walter was a former US Marine Corps cook that had an amazing culinary skill set. He was totally devoted to his mission. In fact, he told me it was his calling. And by the way, it was definitely his kitchen (in a very good way). He was grateful that we had come all the way from North Carolina.

After that meal, we went back to our hotel 30 miles away. There was no water or electricity in the town we were serving. We all said we felt guilty that we had the ability to shower and be in air conditioning. This was something that many in White Sulphur Springs were weeks and possibly months away from having.

Jim McGrody in mobile kitchen

Chef Jim McGrody arranges supplies in the mobile kitchen

The next day we went back to White Sulphur Springs to prep and cook for lunch, but our new mission would be Rainelle, W. Va. This town will forever have an effect on all of us. It certainly has changed me.

This small community of Rainelle was about a 45-minute drive from where we were located. We were told that if you think White Sulphur (as the locals call it) is bad, wait to you get to Rainelle. When we got there, we saw that indeed it was much worse.

White Sulphur had teams of construction crews, grocery stores, food trucks and BBQ tents — Rainelle had none of that.

What we saw was an active military operation. The West Virginia Army National Guard was in charge here. They were everywhere — Humvees, military police, state police and Guardsmen everywhere. They had heavy equipment moving material that was placed in front of homes and businesses. It was bedlam. The stench was at times overbearing. It was a totally different feel than White Sulphur. It was far worse off and it was 6 days since the flood had occurred. The people were visibly torn apart emotionally. They had all lost everything they had ever owned.

What we did not see was adequate port-a -potties, hot food and disinfectants. We had people ask us if we had bleach and another ask us if we had hand sanitizer. It was sad to see all of this unfold in front of us.

We went for a short walk to survey the area when we first got there. We saw cars that were completely covered in mud inside and out. All of these cars were totally destroyed. Houses with water marks 5-6 feet up the side were commonplace. People were scraping mud out of their houses and pulling out sheet rock. There were piles of garbage everywhere we looked. We knew we needed to get to work.

So we set up operations on a corner lot that used to be a car dealer, right next to a trailer dealer. The trailers in that lot were completely destroyed. They looked like a can opener had ripped open the metal. Everything around us was destroyed. People were cleaning out their business all along Main Street. The Army was just down the road using front end loaders to clear debris, which was everywhere. All the homes in the downtown area and I mean all of them were destroyed.

The thing that I remember most was an immense sense of community. You could tell that before the flood, this was a close-knit town. It was even closer in the face of this disaster. Everyone was so nice and thankful that we were there.  They were amazed that we had come from another state and were willing to help. We were like, are you kidding me, this is an honor to be able to help out. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else that day.

One of the commodities’ that we had was fresh fruit — we had bananas, apples, and oranges. People were so happy to see them. Fresh food was pretty scarce at that time. We also had BBQ pork and beans, peach cobbler and a cold marinated vegetable salad. It was a meal many had not seen in more than six days.

About an hour after being there Ryan Conklin found a 5-foot statue of a chef, like the kind you see in some restaurants. We moved him over to our site and put a cardboard sign on him saying we had fresh hot cooked meals and fresh fruit. It was pretty cool. The people in the neighborhood stopped by and took pictures of it.

WV Flood Rescue

It was then that I noticed something that we had not seen since we arrived. People were smiling. They loved the chef statue and for just that one moment they forgot about their loss and just smiled. I couldn’t believe how powerful that was. Kudos to Ryan for making their day just a little bit better. We took the chef back home with us to Raleigh and we will clean it up and bring it to our café.  It will be dedicated to the people of Rainelle, W. Va.

We plated up about 200 meals and we split them up into four trucks. Many of the people in the town could not get to us, so we went to them. Ryan, Steve, Paul and I went to go find some people to feed. Paul and I were on the tailgate of the truck as Ryan drove through the neighborhood. We handed out meals to people as we pulled up beside their homes.  Everyone was so appreciative. It was very emotional for Paul and I and we both got a little teary-eyed when we saw how a simple hot meal had such an effect on people.

Steve Pexton, Ryan Conklin, and Paul Berens help prepare meals with their fellow volunteers.

Steve Pexton, Ryan Conklin, and Paul Berens help prepare meals with their fellow volunteers.

The saddest thing was we learned about the people that had died. A total of 26 people died and 13 of them came from this little town of Rainelle. One of the ones who died was bed ridden and lived alone. He drowned while lying in bed. We learned about the animals that drowned and how some people barely made it out of the water. It was very touching and very sad.

After we were done, we met up with the Mercy Chefs again at a small church. We all got together and they said a prayer for our safe return to Raleigh. We had only been there two days but we felt very connected to these people. They are an amazing organization and I am so glad our paths crossed.

The next day we drove back to North Carolina, we all reflected on what we had seen and done. We felt proud to have gone but were all sad that we were leaving. Had it not been for a few commitments, we all would have stayed longer.

When I got home, I looked around my house saw the furniture, pictures, and my dogs. I couldn’t imagine all of it being gone, with no way to ever get it back. None of the people in Rainelle had flood insurance. It was all just gone.

I am humbled by this experience and I want to send a message to all that read this, please reach out to groups like Mercy Chefs and volunteer or donate money. They do great things. We will be lifelong friends and a big fan of theirs forever.

To the people of Rainelle and White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., you will always be in our thoughts and prayers.

-The UNC REX Chefs from North Carolina


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