Dinner for Herm planned for May 2

The fourth Dinner for Herm will be held at the Skaneateles Country Club on May 2.

In 2005 Holland C. Gregg, IV, the son of Holland and Patience Brewster Gregg, lost his three-year battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 26. Until he was diagnosed, Holland was the picture of health.

Holland, affectionately nicknamed “Herm” by his parents, was an “A” student and tennis champ at Skaneateles Central School for five years. He was a leader in his class. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering.

Six months after graduation, he moved to San Diego, Calif. Just a few months later, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“We were shocked and numb with this news,” said Herm’s dad, Holly Gregg. “My wife, Patience, and I immediately pulled together and made his care our full time job,” he said.

The Gregg family (Holly, Patience and Herm’s sister, Marietta) banded together for three years while their son and brother methodically endured innumerable tests, multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, and three stem cell transplants.

Herm never gave up, but the side effects from the treatments finally overcame him in October, 2005.

Along the way, the Greggs were introduced to clinical trials at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. A team there was developing new immunotherapies designed to fight cancer by identifying and defining cancer cells then seeking them out and attacking only those cells.

“We saw firsthand how powerful and important this new individualized treatment could be,” said Patience Brewster Gregg. “We were so thankful for a way to kill cancer without the punishing side effects from chemotherapy and radiation.”

“This new immunotherapy has had an average success rate of more than 80 percent,” said Holly.

In 2007, Holly joined the board of the CNY Chapter of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS). He and his brother, Jim Gregg, decided to compete in annual contest to raise the most funds in CNY for the LLS in 2008. It was then that the first “Dinner for Herm” was conceived. As a result, Jim Gregg became the LLS’s “Man of the Year” that year.

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