Fred Gibbs: I couldn’t have received better care

July 21, 2020

Fred Gibbs, a Millsboro resident and an active Rotarian in the Long Neck Sunrise Rotary Club, experienced his first need for Beebe Healthcare’s services this year.

Fred had always enjoyed good health. Throughout his career working for International Telephone & Telegraph Corporation in various locations, including South America, his health was good. In his 50s, he decided on law as a second career, passed the New Jersey Bar Exam in 1989, and went on to practice law while living near the beach in Barnegat Light. When he realized that the tax laws in New Jersey were not conducive to estate planning, he researched and discovered life at the beach in Southern Delaware. He relocated here in 2010, still in good health.

Five years ago, in January, Fred’s life partner Patricia came home from a cruise with a cough. Her doctor in New Jersey thought she probably picked up a virus, so they decided to wait and see. The cough persisted, and finally in June she was tested and diagnosed with late stage 4 lung cancer. She was treated in Philadelphia and succumbed a year after her diagnosis.

In January 2020, when Fred developed a cough, he didn’t delay seeking medical advice. His Beebe primary care physician, Erin Lavin, DO, immediately took charge of the situation and ordered tests. The results were similar to what Patricia faced, but the timing was different.

Fred said, “The doctors here were much more on top of it. They didn’t wait around.”

Fred chose to continue his care at Beebe, and after seeing a pulmonologist, he began working with Medical Oncologist Pramod Vadlamani, MD, and Radiation Oncologist Jennifer Hung, MD, at Tunnell Cancer Center. He responded well to both his chemotherapy infusions and radiation treatments. In early June, he rang both bells, in the infusion suite and the radiation area, signifying the completion of his treatments. Fred will begin receiving follow-up immunotherapy at Tunnell Cancer Center in July.

When asked if he had considered looking for a second opinion and treatment elsewhere, Fred said the doctors at Tunnell were happy to provide information for his son, a medical doctor in Charlotte, N.C., to share with his medical colleagues. They acknowledged that Tunnell Cancer Center could provide the best care possible.

Fred agreed: “I don’t think I could have received better care! My care was certainly better than what Patricia received. If she had received the care I received, she might still be here today. Unfortunately, her diagnosis was delayed until it was too late.”

In gratitude for the care he experienced, Fred made a generous donation to Beebe Healthcare. One half of his gift will support Beebe’s Oncology Services, and the other half will provide funds for the Cancer Patient Special Needs Fund. Fred also had lunches delivered to the infusion team and the radiation team on the days he completed his treatments, to demonstrate his gratitude.

As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of the community it serves. To make a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one has received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at or call 302-644-2900. Send your story about excellent care at Beebe to Amanda Neal at

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter