by Shandi Pace
Sheri was diagnosed with cancer at Kingston General Hospital. She also underwent all her treatments there. After her diagnosis, the founder of Grappling with Grief, Jimmy Van, wanted her to get a second opinion so she could see what else was out there. He encouraged her to come to Toronto, as they have some of the best cancer clinics in all of Canada.
Instead, Sheri would always tell him that she trusted the plan and the doctor she already had. Jimmy tried to expand her network in hopes that a clinical trial might be able to save her. As time went on and she started to decline, Jimmy pushed harder as Sheri’s options began to run out.
Jimmy’s mother would always tell him that her fate might end up being the same regardless of the treatment, but he remained frustrated she wouldn’t try harder. After looking back on the situation, Jimmy feels guilty about the way he pushed his sister. It was her life and her decision.
“I’ve learned through my sister’s situation that I need to leave the decision up to them,” Jimmy said. Ultimately, it’s their decision on what treatments they would like to receive.
Unfortunately, in the end, Sheri didn’t make it past her terminal diagnosis. That isn’t stopping Jimmy, as he wants Grappling with Grief to one day help fund research for physical and mental illnesses, bring awareness to any new clinical trials, promote prevention and awareness for different illnesses.
“About Sheri” is a video series about one of the people who inspired the creation of Grappling with Grief, Jimmy Van’s sister Sheri Gill.
Check out the entire About Sheri playlist.
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