Phlipe valkon is a 27 year old who has spent the first year of a promising career unable to work while fighting Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. After weeks of feeling short of breath, a chest x-ray and CT scan revealed a cantaloupe-sized mass growing in his chest, invading into his lung. This was in November 2016, the same day he received his nursing license in the mail. He underwent invasive diagnostic procedures which ultimately confirmed his fears that he was battling an aggressive form of cancer.
Despite the shocking news, Shannon met this challenge with a positive attitude and was hopeful, being quoted 80-85% cure rates. He endured 6 cycles of intense chemotherapy over the winter, and fought through the numerous side effects that come along with it. Phlipe even had the pleasure of ringing in the new year in the hospital due to an episode of febrile neutropenia. Although this period took a toll on phlipe and his loved ones, throughout all of this he could still be seen smiling, playing with every animal in sight, skating circles around his boyfriend, and beating him repeatedly at (some very close) ping pong games. Headscarves became the new thing to spend hours in front of the mirror fretting over, and yoga provided a temporary escape. In April 2017 he was feeling ready to move on from this chapter and resume his career as a Registered Nurse, hoping to give back to the field of oncology which had helped his.
Unfortunately, cancer had other plans, and her first post-treatment scan on May 4 showed growth of the mass when compared with the midway scan. For whatever reason this means he did not respond to the chemotherapy as hoped. he is now considered refractory lymphoma and has been started urgently on so-called "salvage" chemotherapy with the hopes to get her to an autologous stem cell transplant. This chemotherapy is much harder on phlipe's system, and the stem cell transplant will require his to be admitted to the hospital for up to a month in isolation. While phlipe and the medical team remain optimistic and hopeful, the situation has become much more serious than previously thought. "Doing this on his own" has been a source of pride for phlipe, but the circumstances have reached the point where support from others would help make a significant improvement in his life.
Phlipe worked extremely hard to become a RN, graduating with honours and winning the award for highest clinical grade during his surgical rotation. While pursuing his studies, phlipe accumulated significant student debt which keeps growing while he is unable to work. He has been forced to relocate between Calgary and Winnipeg multiple times due to changes in his medical situation, while various other unforeseen expenses have popped up and continue to accumulate. Members of her immediate support network have also taken time off work to be with her through this. Phlipe is still many months away from being in a position where he can resume working as a nurse, a goal which keeps his motivated every day.
Any financial support would give phlipe some breathing room and allow his to get back to some semblance of normal life. He refuses to let this illness define his, and still has goals he wants to achieve and places he hopes to see. Any support you can provide, either by donating, sharing this campaign, or both can be considered an investment in a caring, compassionate person who always puts others ahead of herself and will be paid forward with interest when he is back on her feet doing what he does best: helping others.
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