2023 Survivor Grant Recipient: Shannon Victoria Grote

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Meet Shannon Victoria Grote, a 27-year-old neuroscience ICU nurse from Columbia, MO currently in school pursuing her bachelor of science in nursing degree.

In March 2023, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in which a large tumor ruptured preoperatively and had to be treated prophylactically with chemotherapy to ensure it kills any microscopic cancer cells growing in my abdomen due to rupture. Because of her young age, she is also currently receiving fertility treatments for egg cryopreservation for up to 12 weeks after her surgery to remove the tumor. Cryopreservation was recommended by her oncologist as chemo is likely to destroy any remaining ovary ability to maintain a successful pregnancy after chemo.

Unfortunately, Shannon was not eligible for FMLA until May of this year and was therefore forced to use any vacation, PTO, and sick time for a six-week leave. Unfortunately, she only had enough time to pay for about 4 weeks of that leave and was only paid base pay which meant her income is roughly half of what she usually earns.

In her own words, “The most difficult financial situation for me at this time is gathering the money I need to complete my IVF fertility medications and procedures. The medications and procedures have to be paid for prior to or the day of receiving them. I have already paid for and received my first cycle of IVF meds and will have my first egg retrieval procedure. I had to borrow money to pay for both of these. I will start my second round based on how quickly I recover from this procedure. The second round is estimated to begin within the next few weeks. I would be grateful to receive ANY financial assistance as soon as possible so that the cycle is not delayed. Delaying the cycle delays my chemo start date which potentially increases the chances my cancer is returning.”

Shannon’s social worker filled out a Survivor Grant application on her behalf, and L.I.F.E. is very proud to be able to help her in this time of need. In her own words: “I am so happy to hear that you have selected me as a recipient! The FMLA situation has made working through the chemo very difficult to make a decent paycheck.  I am just about to start my last class where I will be doing a practicum with a prison in Farmington, MO. I have extensive experience and immense interest in becoming involved with upper-level policy making for the incarcerated healthcare population. To meet my aspirations, I plan to get my doctorate so can become more involved legislatively or with large-scale research for healthcare and services in this population.Unfortunately, I will probably have to wait another year or so to continue my education so that I can save money, but I could not be more excited. Thanks! -Shannon Grote”

We wish you all of the best Shannon. We are thrilled to be able to help another nurse who is actively caring for other patients. Please keep us posted on your progress!