Jacque and Wayne Bartholomew
Jacque and Wayne Bartholomew

Wayne and Jacque Bartholomew, both alumni and long-time supporters of UC Davis, were on a trip to France led by the late wine authority and renowned UC Davis professor Maynard Amerine to support Shields Library when Jacque Bartholomew discovered a sore on her heel.

“I thought it was an orthopaedic thing,” she says. But it was melanoma.

She became a patient of cancer surgeon James Goodnight, who later would become the first director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and who now is associate dean for Clinical Affairs and director of the Practice Management Board.

In the mid-1980s, minimally invasive techniques didn’t exist. The surgery removed half of her heel and left her with an ongoing struggle with swelling, which she manages with physical therapy and compression stockings. She also fought several serious infections. Goodnight was there every step of the way.

“I don’t call it my leg anymore,” she laughs. “Dr. Goodnight saved my life, so it’s his leg.” The Bartholomews included the cancer center, among other health system entities, in their estate planning years ago.

“We feel good about giving back to the cancer center, and helping make people aware that the center needs support,” says Wayne Bartholomew, whose father also received treatment from Goodnight.

“People need to appreciate the process that will help the university continue to move forward, which will then raise the whole health-care delivery system in our community.”

Jacque Bartholomew, who says her life always has been about people and connections, agrees.

“I think because I don’t have matching legs and I am involved in the community, my experience can help other people talk about their challenges. It’s really exciting to be able to share the capabilities of the cancer center.”