B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)

A Vancouver Island woman is willing to go the distance to overcome cancer, and her community is standing strong behind her.

Kara Sorensen was diagnosed with lung cancer in July 2020, after discomfort in her left shoulder.

“It was shocking,” Sorensen said, explaining that at first, she thought the symptoms could have stemmed from issues with her gall bladder. “After some tests we found that it wasn’t related, and then I had a chest X-ray and that’s when they discovered the mass on my lung.”

After hearing the news, Sorensen said she and her family experienced fear and denial.

“You just can’t believe something like this happening to you. I’m a massage therapist, am health conscious, I eat a good diet, do cleanses, all of that, and I ended up with cancer,” said Sorensen.

RELATED: Campbell River teen on the mend a year later

RELATED: Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Sorensen has taken a holistic approach, working with naturopaths, acupuncturists, and massage therapists, along with receiving a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.

However, after four rounds of chemotherapy, Sorensen was disappointed to discover the treatments were not successful, and the cancer progressed. The mass has spread to the lining of her left lung, which has resulted in fluid building up in the pleural cavity.

“Because of the pleural involvement, it is considered advanced and inoperable,” said Sorensen.

Sorensen is now confronted with a challenging situation, forced to seek further options that are unavailable in Canada. Sorensen is hoping to go overseas to receive specialized treatment from a residential cancer treatment centre, however the costs are not covered by insurance.

A GoFundMe page has been started on Sorensen’s behalf, and has so far raised $96, 567 of its $250,000 goal.

“These centres are costly, yet have high success rates in treating cancer. I know of somebody who was diagnosed at the same time as me with the same cancer, who has been at a clinic in Germany since July, and although $150,000 in, his cancer is almost gone,” she said on the fundraiser page. “I am hoping for the same opportunity and outcome.”

Sorensen said she was touched that her colleague, Dresden Varney, started the page and has been overwhelmed by the support from friends, family and community.

“People are so generous and caring. I am inspired by the good in humanity. People do their best to support each other and I really feel that. I went from feeling weepy, to crying about the kindness shown from others when this started,” said Sorensen.

Varney knew people would want the opportunity to give back to Sorensen.

“Kara is not from this planet, she is otherworldly. I had no idea someone could radiate so much sunshine from their skin,” said Varney. “Being a massage practitioner, she has helped so many people along on their healing journeys, and seeing the success of the fundraiser is both a testament to how incredible Kara is, and to how amazing people are. There is an innate desire in people to help out.”

The cancer journey has been “an emotional roller coaster” for Sorensen, but she is feeling encouraged and excited to explore further healing opportunities, and says it’s important for people to see her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick.

To donate visit www.gofundme.com/f/help-kara-sorensen-heal.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Air Canada, Harbour Air flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Rebates through Clean B.C.’s Better Homes New Construction program are available, says the City of Nanaimo. (Vancouver Island University photo)
Energy-efficient home builds in Nanaimo eligible for up to $15K in rebates

All building permits issued on, or after, April 1, 2020 eligible, says City of Nanaimo

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Most Read