By Kim Meyer-Webb | Photography by Dero Sanford | Hair by Sheana Boswell with Salon EC Makeup by Cassie Oaks with Face Your Day Xpress | Jewelry from Sissy’s Log Cabin
“I received my most attentive and thoughtful care during one of the most difficult times of my life.”
Tricia and Loverd Peacock believe life should be embraced with gratitude for its blessings and tenacity towards the challenges. Their blended family brought them back to Arkansas three years ago with an enduring love for the Natural State and the welfare of fellow Arkansans. Loverd returned to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he completed medical school and his residency in Internal Medicine more than 50 years ago. He serves as a physician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Department of Radiation Oncology at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. This year, he and Tricia will host Gala for Life – inviting friends and patrons to join them for an evening of fellowship and festivities. “The evening will honor the generosity of our guests, the continued commitment of the doctors and the world-renowned treatment provided by the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute – specifically the Bone Marrow Transplant Program,” Tricia notes with excitement.
Loverd recognizes the transformative power of compassionate care combined with the medical expertise that UAMS WRCI provides. He notes, “As the state’s only academic research cancer center, our interdisciplinary team of specialists – including scientists – work to advance cancer treatment and prevention.” He remembers during his tenure as a student at UAMS, the opportunity to “cure people” had an inexplicable appeal to him. “The world-class technology coupled with clinical trials and a competent team of experts makes the potential of saving more lives, with truly individualized treatment plans, a reality.”
The Peacock family experienced the exceptional care at WRCI when a routine mammogram revealed breast cancer. Tricia recalls, “It was a very small tumor, but the worst kind of breast cancer – talk about changing your life in a matter of minutes! The tumor was detected early, otherwise my story would be quite different. From the biopsy to surgery and radiation treatment, I received my most attentive and thoughtful care during one of the most difficult times of my life.” Her resounding radiant disposition echoes as she adds, “I got my one year cancer-free checkup this spring, so I guess God isn’t finished with me yet!”
Truly a testament to the UAMS education system, Loverd is proud to comprise part of the world-class team of experts that inspire patients to believe in the potential of UAMS as the premier center for healthcare. As a center for innovative technology and medical exploration, UAMS makes quality healthcare more accessible to all Arkansans. Improved services and research are paramount at UAMS WRCI. Loverd believes this is the future of the cancer institute. “Our goal is to become recognized as a designated cancer center by the National Cancer Institute,” he explains. Designated cancer centers are recognized for exceptional scientific leadership, resources and research. Funding opportunities become available with this NCI designation that support additional research, scientific collaborations and partnerships. “It’s another level of enriching relationships with our patients and enhancing care and health outcomes.”
Each year at Gala for Life, patrons enjoy an elegant evening that celebrates UAMS doctors and scientists for their commitment to the institution. Tricia and Loverd along with a committee of “superstars,” as Tricia reiterates, were determined to create “a party atmosphere” with some unexpected surprises – a testament to their fun-loving nature and zeal for life. Remember When Rock was Young – the Elton John Tribute band will perform, and Tricia guarantees it will be “unforgettable and fun,” another personal preference of the Peacocks.
Tricia and Loverd met through Tricia’s travel company Peacock Travel Group. A colleague at Tricia’s Searcy office suggested Loverd call her – after confirming holiday travel. “I had decided dating was just not for me – too many untruths,” Tricia remembers. “He called, came back to Searcy to meet me and the rest is history. We’ve had uncanny similar life experiences. We are truly soul mates; I feel lucky to be on this journey of life with him – he’s my best friend.”
After spending time with the couple, their adoration for each other and the place they call home is undeniable. “I’ve always had an affinity for the west – it factored into my residency at University of Utah Hospital. Geography also provided an opportunity for me to explore Glacier National Park in Montana and act as a guide, as time permitted. But Little Rock is home. I trained in medicine here and feel lucky to give back to the university that has given so much to me.”
He Said / She Said
Preferred Transportation: plane, since childhood
Favorite U.S. Destination: California, my birthplace
Favorite International Destination: Venice – where we got engaged
Favorite U.S. Destination: our home on the Little Red River
Bucket List Destination: Australia
Travel Playlist: classical music