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A devoted wife, a loving daughter and sister, and a true friend, Elizabeth Bridgforth Hunt lived a full and adventurous 31 years. Born in Danville, Virginia, Elizabeth was proud graduate of Carlisle School in Martinsville, Virginia, and the College of William & Mary, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Orchesis Dance Company. Elizabeth worked and studied in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, and throughout Europe. Elizabeth later worked in Washington, DC for the FreerSackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution. Her faith and her boundless spirit led her to travel all over the world. With the Last Well, she summited mountains to provide drinking water in Liberia. With her family and friends, she hiked, dived, skied, hunted warthogs, laughed, and danced in countless countries. She completed an MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. She married Andy Hunt in 2013 and the couple made their home in Richmond, Virginia, where Elizabeth passionately built her career in global marketing for WestRock. Her husband, parents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues will remember that amidst her dynamism and ambition, she most valued quality time with loved ones, especially on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Elizabeth’s character was most evident in her approach to her disease; she never wasted a day. Elizabeth noticed an ulcer on her tongue in February 2015 and was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. She underwent extensive surgery to remove the primary malignancy and reconstruct her mouth and tongue. Just days after surgery, she astounded her nurses and doctors by walking a mile around the halls of the surgical trauma ICU. Elizabeth underwent six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, while still living the life she loved - walking, practicing yoga, traveling, and completing work projects. In September 2015, scans indicated that disease had returned to her tongue and metastasized in her neck, lungs, and hip. Elizabeth and Andy searched the country for the best available treatment and ultimately traveled to Houston to participate in a Phase 1 immunotherapy trial. The progression of her tumors steadily eroded her ability to eat, speak, and walk, but the disease never shook her resolve to live better or her fierce independence. During a visit to the emergency room, Elizabeth complained not of her chronic pain or fatigue, but rather of boredom. Elizabeth passed away peacefully on January 6, 2016.
Donations made to the Elizabeth B. Hunt Memorial Fund will enable the foundation to provide valuable support services to oral cancer survivors, oral cancer education to the public, and sponsorship of research into life saving medical treatment and disease etiology, among other vital endeavors. Elizabeth's family thanks the compassionate doctors and nurses at the Massey Cancer Center and the MD Anderson Cancer Center for their care.