John’s Story - A Cancer Survivor Gives Back

When John Kirby, of Greeley Hill, was diagnosed with lymphoma in April 2019, he was certain that he’d be traveling far from home to get quality care. Despite his intention to go elsewhere, John’s best friend convinced him to go to a consultation with Shane Tipton FNP, PA-C, MS at the Diana J. White Cancer Institute.

One meeting was all it took to change John’s plans.

“From that first meeting with Shane, he was so cheerful and kind,” John said. “I could tell all of the staff really cared about me and that this was a special place.”

John ended up going through three rounds of chemotherapy and twenty days of radiation with the support of his care team at Adventist Health Sonora, friends and family.

“I consider myself a strong person, but I was really, really sick. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” John remembered. “Shane called me every day during treatment. Some days I was too sick to pick up the phone, but he’d leave me a voicemail to check up on me. I never expected to get this level of care here, and it made such a difference.”

John finished his last round of radiation just before Christmas in 2019. It took a while, he said, but he’s finally feeling like himself again. Now, he’s passionate about helping other patients facing a cancer diagnosis.

“Dealing with cancer is really scary, and the financial part just adds to it,” John explained. “The bills add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, even if you have good insurance. That means homes lost, retirement savings gone. That's why the Cancer Patient Support Fund is so important.”

Teaming up with Andee Houser, Director of Philanthropy, John is making fundraising plans to ensure all local cancer patients have what they need. Once COVID-19 is behind us, he also plans to host the whole oncology team on his houseboat on Lake McClure to celebrate the end of his treatment.


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Donate by phone: (209) 536-5029

Or checks can be mailed to:

Adventist Health Sonora
Philanthropy Office
1000 Greenley Road
Sonora, CA 95370