Greetings, MURDOCK Study participants! Whether it happened last month, last year, or as far back as 2009, you all made the same decision—to join Duke University’s MURDOCK Study. You selflessly contributed your time, health history, and biological samples to help researchers find ways to improve the health and quality of life for future generations. There are nearly 12,000 of you today, making the Duke-MURDOCK Study one of the largest population health research initiatives of its kind. Thank you!
Now, we hope you will do something just as important as enrolling in the study—complete your Annual Follow-Up Form each year. Retention is a key metric of success of the MURDOCK Study, and the information collected in our Annual Follow-Up Form is crucial to researchers using MURDOCK Study samples and data. Every completed Annual Follow-Up Form is a valuable part of this unique community-based research project.
If you have been filling out your Annual Follow-Up Form, thank you! If you haven’t, it’s never too late. Please complete your form, even if you’ve missed a year or two or accidentally let your enrollment anniversary pass. Filling out your form is easier than ever. Choose one of these convenient options:
Use the link to an electronic form that arrives via email
about a month before your enrollment anniversary (for
instance, if you enrolled in November, you will receive
your email in October);
Complete the paper form that we mail to your home
address every year;
The 18th Annual Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas will be held Friday, June 19 to Sunday, June 21 at Independence Park in Charlotte. The festival will celebrate a variety of cultural traditions through food, art, music, and dance. Continue reading June 19, 20, 21→
The MURDOCK Study’s clinical team will relocate to the NCRC Medical Plaza this summer. Data management, business development, and communications team members will remain at the West Avenue office in Downtown Kannapolis. The move will help accommodate the growing number of Duke University staff based in Kannapolis, now approaching 30 employees.
To see photos of the preparation under way at the NCRC Medical Plaza, check out our Facebook album.
The 16th Annual Charlotte Asian Festival will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 16 at Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius. The event will feature cultural performances, dragon boat races, food, and craft vendors. Stop by the MURDOCK Study booth and say hello! Continue reading Saturday, May 16→
Already looking forward to Spring? Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 28 when the MURDOCK Study will host a recruitment table at the Davidson Farmer’s Market. Come out to shop for locally grown produce and to learn more about our research study. Continue reading Saturday, February 28→
Congratulations to Rosa Pearson, our third quarter raffle winner of 2017. What luck! She also won the Follow-Up Raffle in 2014!
Pearson likes being a part of the MURDOCK Study because she can stay in the know about some of our other studies, like the MURDOCK COPD Study, and urges other MURDOCK participants to complete their Annual Follow-Up Form for the chance to win the raffle.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time at home and watching all kinds of movies. Pearson chose a $150 gift card to Walmart and plans to buy groceries.
She left with some information on our newest study, the Project Baseline study, and was eager to learn more.
2nd Quarter 2017 Raffle Winner
Baxter Shelton of Kannapolis is the second quarter Follow-Up Raffle Winner! He has been a part of the MURDOCK study from the very beginning, enrolling within the first year the study was launched in 2009.
Shelton, now retired, worked as a real estate broker for 27 years in Cabarrus County. Now he likes to spend his time playing golf and fishing and has two grandchildren who live in Raleigh.
He believes that MURDOCK Study participants should complete their Annual Follow-Up Forms, as he does every year.
“It’s what keeps the study going,” Shelton said. “It is the whole reason in doing this, and the only way to track the long-term health in the population.”
He chose a $150 gift card to Belk and plans to give it to his wife. How sweet!
Congratulations, Baxter Shelton!
1st Quarter 2017 Raffle Winner
Congratulations to Cynthia Allison of Kannapolis, winner of our first quarter Follow-Up Raffle of 2017!
Allison, 56, grew up in Concord and worked as a medical technician at an assisted living facility for nine years and then home health care, before becoming disabled due to back and shoulder injuries.
She enrolled in the MURDOCK Study six years ago and convinced about a dozen of her relatives to do the same so that researchers can follow changes to their health. When her family started having major health crises like diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer, she said, “I was curious about our genetics and family history, and as a person of color, it’s often difficult to find out these things. We have the same diseases and they pass from one generation to the next.”
She makes sure to fills out her Annual Follow-Up Form every year. “Your health is constantly changing. Mine has changed drastically,” she said. “It’s how you keep track of what’s going on with me and my siblings. You need to do the annual update so they will know the changes in your health and medical history, or else it just stays stagnant.”
Follow-up is the whole point of the study, she said.
In her spare time, she loves reading and playing silly games. But her favorite thing to do is spend time with her nieces and nephews, including 8-month-old Phoenix, the newest baby in the family. She plans on buying a nice paper shredder with her $150 Walmart gift card.
4th Quarter 2016 Raffle Winner
Gloria Rucker of Concord fills out her Annual Follow-Up Form every year. This time, she won the $150 prize in a random drawing of those who had completed their forms.
“I was shocked,” she said. “People should fill out their form quickly, as soon as they get it. They might be a winner like me.”
Rucker battled multiple myeloma last year and survived thanks to a stem cell transplant in August 2016. She spent 15 days in the hospital and is now in remission.
She said she feels it’s important for MURDOCK Study participants who become sick to tell researchers by filling out their Annual Follow-Up Forms every year.
“I want to make sure that you continue to know about my health as it changes,” she said.
A longtime Cabarrus County teacher assistant and bus driver, Rucker retired in 2008 after working at W.R. Odell Elementary and Weddington Hills Elementary for 30 years. She enjoys serving her church, Rock Hill AME Zion, and has a son who is a student at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
For her prize, she chose a gift card to Olive Garden so she could share her good fortune with husband Larry Rucker, who is also enrolled in the MURDOCK Study.
3rd Quarter 2016 Raffle Winner
After joining the MURDOCK Study about six years ago, Brandi-Ann Hall now lives in Manchester, N.H., and works as a registered nurse on a cardiac stepdown unit. She’s also in the process of earning a master’s degree in nursing.
Hall joined the MURDOCK Study after learning about it during a community event in Kannapolis. She stresses the importance of filling out the Annual Follow-Up Form every year to keep health and contact information up-to-date for researchers, as well as new study opportunities.
“It only takes a few moments to fill out the update each year. It is a very simple process, and you might even get a reward for doing so,” said Hall, the winner of the Follow-Up Raffle and a $150 prize.
Hall enjoys spending time with her family and three children, hiking, cross-stitching and scrapbooking. For her raffle prize, she chose an iPod Nano.
2nd Quarter 2016 Raffle Winner
Darlene Easley of Concord retired from the school system in 2012 after working as an English teacher at Concord High School for 12 years and then a school librarian at Odell Elementary for 17 years.
With two children and six grandchildren, plus the thousands of children she taught over the years, Easley sees the importance of updating her health information annually so MURDOCK Study researchers can follow her health over time.
“They are studying groups and need to know whose health has changed,” said Easley, the winner of the Follow-Up Raffle and a $150 prize.
Easley and her sister, Linda Staton of Kannapolis, joined the MURDOCK Study together and encourage each other to complete their Annual Follow-Up Forms. Since her retirement, Easley enjoys singing in the choir at Parkwood Baptist Church in Concord.
She plans to spend her raffle prize on a shopping spree with her daughter.
1st Quarter 2016 Raffle Winner
Jason Roberts of Concord admits he didn’t always remember to fill out his Annual Follow-Up Form after joining the MURDOCK Study with his wife several years ago.
But this year, when the anniversary of their enrollment rolled around, Christine Roberts made sure that her husband completed his form. Jason Roberts’ 20-minute investment paid off. His name was automatically entered into the Follow-Up Raffle, and he was chosen as the winner of the $150 prize.
A shop foreman at Ring Power Corporation, a division of Caterpillar, Roberts was born and raised in West Virginia and moved to Cabarrus County in 1998. He said he joined the MURDOCK Study because his father suffered a heart attack at a young age.
“It’s a good idea, just for the fact that if they do use my samples and find something, it could help people with cardiac issues,” he said.
Roberts enjoys spending time with his family, including four children, and building elaborate remote control cars. His most recent creation reaches top speeds of 70 mph and took three years to build.
For his raffle prize, he chose a $150 gift card to Lowe’s to help cover the cost of a do-it-yourself bathroom renovation. He plans to fill out his Annual Follow-Up Form every year, without fail. “I sure am,” he said.
4th Quarter 2015 Raffle Winners
Doing Zumba has paid off in more ways than one for Rosa Castillo of Charlotte.
Castillo was participating in a Zumbathon at Bethesda Health Center when she learned about Duke University’s MURDOCK Study. She decided to enroll and invited her sister to do the same.
When her sister joined, Castillo’s name was automatically entered in the Refer-A-Friend Raffle, and Castillo won a $50 gift card. Her name was randomly selected during the fourth quarter of 2015.
“I joined the MURDOCK Study because I want a better future, and I hope scientists can find cures for the diseases we have today,” Castillo said. “I hope the study can lead investigators to cure diabetes and other health problems, like pediatric cancer.”
She plans to use the raffle prize to buy groceries for her family.
William “Bob” Martin of Concord fills out his MURDOCK Study Annual Follow-Up Form the same way he exercises — with loyal dedication.
Martin, 78, and his wife Billie were among the first people to sign up for the MURDOCK Study when Duke University launched the ambitious effort in 2009. Since then, the Martins have made sure to complete their Annual Follow-Up Form every year.
It’s become a part of their regular routine, just like walking a mile and playing 18 holes of golf three times a week. MURDOCK Study follow-up is just as important as enrollment, Bob Martin said.
“The database is a big part of these studies, and they need to have a broad base of data to choose from and compare with,” he said. “Follow-up is how you maintain the database. You have to keep all the numbers active.
“I will be doing it as long as I still know how.”
Bob Martin was randomly chosen as the winner of the Follow-Up Raffle in the fourth quarter of 2015. For his prize valued at up to $150, he chose a digital camera.
He settled in Concord in 1996 after living in Alabama and Texas and serving in the U.S. Navy. He is retired from the metal distribution industry.
The Martins met by chance when they both took their Volkswagons in for service in Pensacola, Fla. They began chatting and discovered that they grew up 25 miles apart in Alabama. The rest, as they say, is history.
They joined the MURDOCK Study together and now fill out their Annual Follow-Up Form together each year.
“It’s a broad-based study, and it has a good purpose, so why not?” Bob Martin said. “It’s really a no-brainer. It’s just so easy.”
3rd Quarter 2015 Raffle Winners
The first female letter carrier in Rowan County is now a proud member of the Duke-MURDOCK Study, as well as the winner of the Refer-A-Friend Raffle and a $50 prize.
Iola Parker of China Grove joined the MURDOCK Study about the same time that she retired from the U.S. Postal Service after a career that spanned 37 years.
“I believe in healthy eating, and I’m very interested in healthy aging,” said Parker, who retired in May 2015. “I’m mindful of eating and exercise, and I hope my information will help someone down the line.”
Parker got plenty of exercise as a letter carrier, walking eight miles every day and delivering mail to about 550 addresses in China Grove. She was bitten by a dog once, and sometimes the weather — especially when it was bitterly cold — made her wonder, “Why am I doing this?”
But overall, the job was a joy, Parker said, and she’s still recognized all over town. She began delivering mail when she was 35 years old because she thought it was wonderful to be paid to exercise, and she knew that she would earn a fair wage from the government.
Previously, in a private sector job, she learned that she was earning a fraction of what her male coworkers did, even those with less education and less experience.
In the past year, Parker’s had both knees replaced, but she and her husband, Wendell Parker, walk three miles a day. When Iola Parker learned that she’d won the Refer-A-Friend Raffle for referring her husband to the MURDOCK Study, she chose a Marshall’s gift card worth $50 as her prize.
For several years, Teri Boger could not join Duke’s MURDOCK Study.
Boger lives in Rockwell, where she was born and raised. During the early years of the study, Rockwell was not included in the geographic recruitment area. When the boundary was expanded, Boger was thrilled to learn that people living in Rockwell’s zip code were eligible to join.
“I enrolled immediately,” she said.
Boger completes her Annual Follow-Up Form every year as soon as it arrives. Thanks to her dedication and a little luck, she won the Duke-MURDOCK Study Follow-Up Raffle for the third quarter of 2015 and chose the Kindle Fire tablet as her prize.
“I fill out my follow-up form every year because I feel like researchers need to know what’s going on with my health,” she said. “If I skip a year, your data may not be accurate, and I believe in accuracy.”
A staff assistant in corporate risk management for Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast for the past 10 years, Boger said she learned about the MURDOCK Study from Duke employees who were enrolling participants at the hospital.
“I just thought it was unique and a really great opportunity to make a difference,” she said. “There are not many places around here where you can participate in clinical research.”
As a mother, Boger said she felt compelled to join the MURDOCK Study to help researchers help future generations.
“I thought it would be interesting to see what Duke can do with data that would potentially impact my child or other children in the future,” she said. “I’m hoping this will help people stay healthy.”
2nd Quarter 2015 Raffle Winners
Congratulations to Bernie Edwards, winner of the Duke-MURDOCK Study Follow-Up Raffle and a $150 gift card for the second quarter of 2015.
Edwards joined the MURDOCK Study several years ago when his rock ‘n’ roll band, Exit 54, was performing at a Ben Mynatt dealership appreciation event. During a break, he wandered over to the Duke University information table to see what the MURDOCK Study was all about, signed up and has been an active participant ever since.
“Participation in anything to help the area do valuable research on diseases that could potentially affect us all seems like a no-brainer,” says the Mount Pleasant resident. “If I can do my small part and be involved in something like this, then why not?”
According to Edwards, enrolling was quick and easy. He said he encourages others to enroll and has piqued his friends’ curiosity about participating in the study by winning the Follow-Up Raffle.
The gift card will help fund ongoing home renovations, he said.
Edwards is one of more than 11,700 MURDOCK Study participants. Everyone who fills out an Annual Follow-Up Form is automatically entered into the quarterly raffle for a prize worth up to $150. Follow-up information is crucial to the success of the MURDOCK Study, and each completed Annual Follow-Up form is a valuable part of this unique community-based research project.
David Seagraves of Harrisburg said the altruism that led him to join the Duke-MURDOCK Study came from his mother, who taught him to “give and it will come back to you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”
“We just want to be a part of giving back to the community and help solve problems not for us, but for the future,” Seagraves said. “We are our brother’s keeper, after all.”
Seagraves believes so strongly in the MURDOCK Study that he referred a friend who enrolled, which automatically entered Seagraves into the quarterly Refer-A-Friend Raffle. He won a $50 gift card!
“Hopefully, with 12,000 of us now, researchers will be able to use our data to find cures for diseases and new treatments,” he said.
Nearly 12,000 residents of Cabarrus County and the surrounding area have joined the MURDOCK Study so far.
Seagraves worked as an electrical maintenance technician for Philip Morris for 28 years, from the day the Cabarrus County plant opened until the day it closed in 2009. He helped lead the company’s philanthropy program, which raised money and awarded grants to nonprofit agencies in the nine counties where employees lived. Now retired, Seagraves enjoys traveling to Surfside Beach, S.C. with his wife.
They joined the MURDOCK Study after their daughter, Jenna, who was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told them about the North Carolina Research Campus. He learned about Duke University’s work in Kannapolis to understand disease at the molecular level and decided to help by enrolling in the study and completing an Annual Follow-Up Form every year.
Everyone who fills out an Annual Follow-Up Form is automatically entered into a quarterly raffle for a prize worth up to $150. Follow-up information is crucial to the success of the MURDOCK Study, and each completed Annual Follow-Up form is a valuable part of this unique community-based research project.
Participants like Seagraves who refer a friend or family member who then enrolls are entered into the Refer-a-Friend Raffle with the chance to win a prize valued at $50.
1st Quarter 2015 Raffle Winners
Ana Farrera Gonzalez encourages nearly everyone she knows to join the MURDOCK Study. Her enthusiasm helped her win a $50 gift card to the Gap.
“I believe that we need research to find cures and better treatment,” said Farrera Gonzalez, a Charlotte resident. “That’s the only way they can do it. Maybe we will not be able to see it, but our kids or their kids will.”
So far, Farrera Gonzalez has recruited her cousin, son and husband into the MURDOCK Study, as well as several people she met through her job as a screening and referral coordinator at Bethesda Health Center. For her efforts, Gonzalez won the study’s Refer-A-Friend Raffle in the first quarter of 2015 and a $50 gift card.
Farrera Gonzalez is one of more than 11,500 MURDOCK Study participants. When participants fill out their Annual Follow-Up Form, they are automatically entered into a raffle for a prize worth up to $150. Those who refer a friend or family member who then enrolls are entered into the Refer-a-Friend Raffle with the chance to win a prize valued at $50.
Congratulations to Lynn Taylor of Midland, winner of the the Follow-Up Raffle for the first quarter of 2015! Everyone who fills out an Annual Follow-Up Form is automatically entered into the raffle for a prize worth up to $150.
Ms. Taylor joined the MURDOCK Study several years ago after hearing about it through her job with Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast. Duke University’s medical research project is based in Kannapolis at the North Carolina Research Campus. Ms. Taylor’s parents and two adult children have also enrolled in the MURDOCK Study, she said, and the family hopes that clinical research will help eliminate suffering for future generations and make daily life easier for people with chronic health conditions.
“We wanted to join if it can help someone else try to prevent getting those issues,” Ms. Taylor said. “Some things to be learned in research may not help right now, but may in the future. That’s the hope.”
Ms. Taylor said she and her family members fill out their Annual Follow-Up Forms electronically, using the link that comes in their email. She said completing the form online is quick and easy.
She chose a $150 gift card to Sears to help replace her 18-year-old dishwasher that recently broke. “Perfect timing,” she said.
4th Quarter 2014 Raffle Winners
Congratulations Dr. Leigh Davy of Concord, winner of the Refer-a-Friend Raffle, and Betty Goodwin of Kannapolis, winner of the Follow-Up Raffle! Both women won prizes in the MURDOCK Study final quarterly raffles of 2014.
Betty enrolled in the MURDOCK Study in 2010 after learning about Duke University’s unique health research project from her physician. Retired from the Kannapolis UPS Customer Center after 35 years, Betty is an avid walker and logs up to 3 miles a day with a friend through downtown Kannapolis and the North Carolina Research Campus.
As her prize, Betty chose a $150 gift card to Olive Garden, a restaurant she enjoys with her husband of 47 years, David Goodwin. Betty also loves to sing at Mt. Mitchell United Methodist Church in Kannapolis. After retirement, she cared for her ailing father until he recently passed away.
“I talk to my friends about the MURDOCK Study and encourage them to join,” she said.
Leigh joined the MURDOCK Study two years ago. After working as a child psychiatrist in Florida, she said she wanted to participate in Duke’s project as a way to contribute to efforts to find new treatments and possibly cures for disease. Leigh is taking time off from her medical practice to raise a family.
For referring her mother Sharon Davy of Harrisburg to the study, Leigh was entered into a quarterly raffle and won a $50 Target gift card. She said she plans to share the prize with her mom.
Refer a friend or family member to the MURDOCK Study who then enrolls and you will be entered into the Refer-a-Friend Raffle with the chance to win a prize valued at $50.
Join us Saturday, March 5 for heart health education and some light exercise. Walk With a Doc is held monthly in Les Myers Community Park in Concord. This free event is open to all MURDOCK Study participants and the public. Continue reading Saturday, March 5→
The MURDOCK Study will host a Valentine’s day dance for the young at heart (ages 55 and up) at the Logan Multipurpose Center in Concord. The event is free and will feature food, music, and prizes. Grab your sweetheart and join us on Saturday, February 14. Continue reading Saturday, February 14→
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