My name is Sean Sheridan. I’m 31 years old and I live with cancer.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like for someone diagnosed with cancer in the prime of life?
I found out I had colorectal cancer in November 2012. I was 26. At the time, I was a typical guy in my twenties, working in the oil-field industry and traveling a lot. I worked hard and didn’t think much about my health. Now that’s all changed.
I hope my story will inspire you to support the incredible work happening at CancerCare Manitoba. Ongoing donations to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation make a big difference to people like me whose quality of life depends on new treatments and discoveries.
By the time I learned about my cancer, it had already spread to my liver.
Doctors told me my cancer had probably been growing for a number of years, which shows how important it is to talk to a doctor early. I responded well to chemotherapy, so my doctors decided surgery was a viable option. We did two rounds of surgery and removed 80 per cent of my liver. I recovered and even felt well enough to go back to work for a while.
The big thing with people my age is we sense no one really likes talking about cancer, but I feel it’s better to talk about it than not. I have this conquering, optimistic Viking spirit that helps me and my family feel better about my illness. I like talking to other young adults with cancer. When I do, I encourage them to be positive and open because if we can have the conversation, it’s easier for others to join in.
Even Vikings get discouraged. The most stressed I get is when my doctor comes in to discuss results.
In late 2014, I learned the cancer had spread to one of my lungs. The first thing I wanted to know was what my options were, because that’s what it’s all about–having options. There’s a lot of information out there, so it’s been really helpful to talk with doctors and specialists at CancerCare Manitoba to understand what treatment will provide me with the best quality of life. I’m extremely grateful for their tremendous knowledge and support.
Cancer research is a long-term commitment that needs long-term funding. At CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, monthly donors are Champions of Discovery because their investment in research has the power to give real hope to those living with cancer. For me, ongoing funding for cancer research means more options and possibilities. I hope you will consider becoming a Champion of Discovery, because my kind of cancer is not going away any time soon.
Funding can accomplish the incredible.
In the nearly five years since I was diagnosed, I’ve learned it’s much easier to fight cancer with your help. When you support CancerCare Manitoba through the Foundation, it means a lot to people like me who are able to access better life-saving care and advice than even a few years ago.
CancerCare Manitoba’s commitment to enhanced care, including a new dedicated psychosocial worker for its Adolescents and Young Adults Program, has made a real difference to me personally. With donor support, CancerCare Manitoba can continue to improve health outcomes for people my age.
With the cancer now in my lung, we’re looking at treatment and quality of life options. Your donation will help fund research for both… and a lot more. Sometimes I look at life like I’m a smartphone. I’m a version 7 now, but I really want to be around for the 13 release.
Cancer patients in Manitoba have excellent resources because of people like you.
I’m a strong believer in the power of positive thinking. I hope you feel as excited as I do about the progress of cancer research right here in Manitoba. Since the Foundation’s creation in 2000, donors like you have funded pediatric and adult clinical trials and helped to recruit the best and brightest clinician scientists and researchers to work at CancerCare Manitoba. There’s still much more to do though.
My greatest wish is one within reach: for anyone diagnosed with cancer to have good quality of life.
I can’t begin to tell you how much your donation means to me and to others whose lives are deeply connected with hope. New discoveries hinge on funding, and all we really want—those of us living with cancer–are options that will give us hope… for a cure, for new treatments, and for better quality of life. Our lives depend on it.