Sarah Lantz, MD completed her surgical residency at Carolinas Medical Center. Upon completion in 2013, she was awarded the Dr. Louisa Littleton Award. This award is given to a female resident physician dedicated to the compassionate care of the underserved. Sarah believed in mission work and serving those in need; she moved to Zambia, Africa to work as one of two Mission Surgeons responsible for providing care in an impoverished one thousand square mile region. Unfortunately, her two year commitment was cut short. Sarah spent the fall of 2015 battling breast cancer and died January 13th, 2016 at the age of 34. She has left an everlasting imprint on the people she has touched and cared for in her life dedicated to serving.
Attend Celebrate Sarah Lantz Day – June 22, 2019 @ Town Brewing Company – Learn More Here (or make a direct donation to Fund, below)
Sarah Lantz Surgical Mission Fund
In honor of Sarah and her dedication to surgical mission work, we are developing a scholarship in her name to support a surgical mission experience for current residents at Carolinas Medical Center. The scholarship will provide charitable support to allow residents to travel overseas and provide mission care to under-served patients in countries like Zambia in hopes to continue to foster the spirit of care that Sarah Lantz embodied.
Sarah’s Story in her own words:
When I was 16 years old, I began sponsoring a child through World Vision. One day as I was reading their quarterly newsletter, I came across an article on the need for doctors in the developing world — doctors who were there full time, not just for a week or two. As I read those words, God spoke very loudly and clearly into my heart, “That’s it Sarah. That’s what I want you to do.” And I said, “yes.”
Fast forward through 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, and 5 years of general surgery residency, and today I am a board certified general surgeon, headed to Mukinge Hospital in Kasempa, Zambia.
In the Western World, “cancer” is a word that automatically evokes fear as it is largely understood to be something bad, something serious, something associated with long and painful treatment, something associated with dying. In rural Zambia, the word “cancer” often has little or no meaning. In Kikaonde, there isn’t even a word for cancer. Many of my patients have not heard it in English before, they don’t understand its seriousness, and are therefore not scared by it. I will frequently have to explain what a cancer is, what it does, and what we can (or often, cannot) do to treat it. Even then, to my patients receiving a new diagnosis of cancer, the word itself holds little meaning.
This week, however, I have heard and spoken the word “cancer” more times than I can recall.
And all of them in regard to me.
One week ago, I was a missionary surgeon in Northwest Zambia. Today I am a 34-year old woman with advanced breast cancer. The word “cancer” has become very personal.
Life forever changed.