At age 31, Josh Lambeth considered himself a healthy guy. Five years later, he is battling his fourth bout of cancer. Since his initial diagnosis, Josh has been motivated to help other cancer survivors and fighters in the Wilmington area.
On May 4, Josh will present A Night of Hope, the fourth fundraiser he has held for the Patient Resource Fund benefiting the NHRMC Zimmer Cancer Center. A Night of Hope will feature popular Christian rock band Building 429 along with additional performances by Rhett Walker Band, Dan Bremnes, and Aaron Cole. All proceeds will help support patients and families of the NHRMC Zimmer Cancer Center.
Josh’s Survival Story
In 2011, Josh began experiencing some minor symptoms including rectal bleeding and mild nausea, so he reached out to his family physician. For over two years he was told that he was completely healthy and too young for his symptoms to be anything serious. Josh’s wife Megan, a first year resident physician at New Hanover Regional Medical Center at the time, suggested he visit a specialized GI doctor for further evaluation after his symptoms started to progress.
“Dr. Spencer Carney of Wilmington GI Associates explained that based on the symptoms, and my medical history, that it was likely a case of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or possibly Crohn’s Disease, but suggested a colonoscopy to know for sure,” recalled Josh. “When I woke up, I remember seeing tears coming down the doctor’s face as he began to tell me that he had discovered a 5 centimeter mass that was determined to be rectal cancer.”
Immediately Josh was referred to Dr. Andrew Schreiber with Cape Fear Cancer Specialists - NHRMC Physicians Group. Chemotherapy began, followed by surgery to remove the mass, and more chemotherapy. A year after the initial diagnosis, a recurrence was discovered in Josh’s liver.
“I was never really emotional during the initial diagnosis,” said Josh, who channeled his misfortune into an opportunity to help others. “While going through treatments I would think of ways to raise money and awareness for others that were going through what I was. I always wanted to do a concert!”
In August 2015 Josh organized the first Night Of Hope concert to benefit cancer patients. Josh had grown up with Michael Anderson, the drummer of Building 429, a Grammy Nominated Christian rock band. In addition, Building 429’s lead singer Jason Roy grew up in Wilmington. When they learned of Josh’s ambition, they were eager to help. Working with the NHRMC Foundation, over $37,000 was raised.
Building on the success of the event, Josh was encouraged to do even more. The Patient Resource Fund was born and additional fundraising events were scheduled. Cancer Shucks in 2016 and the Waves of Hope Blue Tie Gala in 2017 were both driven by the Lambeths in coordination with the NHRMC Foundation. In between events, Josh kept getting regular scans, and cancer was discovered again. Despite a third bout of cancer. Josh made sure the events were organized, using his vast social media network to help publicize the event.
Selflessly, he compliments the team at NHRMC for encouraging his efforts. "The NHRMC Foundation along with the NHRMC organization, have been crucial in planning the events and have helped make them a huge success.”
In total, Josh’s events have raised over $150,000 for patients of the NHRMC Zimmer Cancer Center.
Josh reflected on what those dollars mean to the patients and families who receive them.
“Battling cancer is expensive and time-consuming,” he said. “With doctor appointments, chemo sessions, and physical exhaustion, regular living funds can be hard to come by. The proceeds raised by these events have helped these patients and their families during their time of struggle."
Funds from the Patient Cancer Resource are used to buy groceries, gas cards, provide transportation to appointments, personal upkeep and have even been used for patient yard maintenance. In addition to assisting patients with their everyday needs, funds have also been used to provide new wheelchairs, iPads and virtual reality headsets for the patients at the Zimmer Cancer Center.
The 2nd A Night of Hope event on May 4 at Port City Church will be the Lambeths’ last fundraising event for the foreseeable future. Recently he, his wife Megan, and their 19-month-old daughter Kinsley Grace, moved to Morehead City. The distance, focusing on family, work, starting Graduate School in the fall, along with the news of a fourth cancer occurrence, have made it difficult to keep up the efforts.
Josh will continue to sit on the NHRMC Foundation board as well as the Patient Advisory Board.
“It's only fitting that we end things where we started. A Night of Hope has a special place in my heart. I hope that with the funds raised on May 4th, that we can bring the total amount raised by the Patient Resource Fund to over $200,000,” said Lambeth.
For more information on a Night of Hope, including ticket purchases, visit https://www.nhrmc.org/nhrmc-foundation/get-involved/community-led-events/night-of-hope