Graduation Date

Fall 12-31-2015

Grading Professor

Bob Sacha

Subject Concentration

Health & Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


In April 2015, William Byrd Wilkins or ‘Byrd’, 50, a theatre and television actor, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In August, his friends crowd-funded an all expense paid trip to New York for Byrd who wasundergoing chemotherapy in his rural hometown of Louisburg, North Carolina. Originally described as ‘an opportunity to reconnect’ the trip soon developed into a ‘living funeral’ as Byrd and his friends grappled with Byrd’s terminal prognosis. As he visited his favorite New York haunts and met with friends, Byrd wrestled with the decision to end his chemotherapy upon his return home.

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