×
29YO Nurse Who Took Care of Pandemic-Hit Patients Faces Rare Brain Cancer Battle | He Was Diagnosed While on Frontlines

29YO Nurse Who Took Care of Pandemic-Hit Patients Faces Rare Brain Cancer Battle | He Was Diagnosed While on Frontlines

Ian Youngblood is the kind of person who paid for water for 5,000 volunteers out of his own pocket and he needs people to help him now.

Sometimes the best people go through the hardest battles. They want to be there for everyone but encounter struggles along the way that they could have never anticipated. And, even in the middle of their own battles, they only think of others.

A nurse, Ian Youngblood, 29, from Arizona had left his home state to volunteer in New York City, which needed healthcare workers as the city was bursting at the seams with people infected with the coronavirus. He was on the frontlines battling the pandemic and taking care of people for three months. He had been there to support the healthcare workers of the city but towards the end of his stay, he started feeling sick.

He experienced sudden headaches, nausea, and seizures, according to PEOPLE. Ian was admitted into the intensive care unit at White Plains Hospital and after multiple tests, it was revealed that he had a rare form of cancer, Grade IV Glioblastoma. His loved ones are devastated but want to help him out as he was not insured at the time.

Source: GoFundMe

"To hear him get that diagnosis, it just makes you question everything in life," his friend Nathan Kathol told ABC15. "Everyone looked up to Ian, there wasn’t a single person that did not like him,” said Nathan.

The former firefighter-turned-emergency-room-nurse stands out for his big heart and stature. Nathan and Ian were paired up while working on ground zero. Nathan said that there were always cases of water at the hotel doors where the 5,000 volunteers stayed and it left him wondering. "One day I overheard them always calling him water boy, and I found out that he was paying out of his own pocket for all of us,” said he.

Source: GoFundMe

The big-hearted guy looks healthy and it is hard to tell that he so is unwell. The GoFundMe page set up for him says, "The path for treatment will require chemo, radiation, clinical trials, and professional expertise to slow the progression of this terrible disease... [Ian] is now reliant on all available aid to face both cancer and the many hospital bills that accompany it."

"Ian has opened his heart and hands, gaining new loved ones and families as he worked to help others fight their battles, and now he needs our help to fight for him," the page says. The fundraiser has received more than $143,000 as of July 9.

Source: GoFundMe

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a kind of terminal cancer with no known cure. He returned home to Phoenix after having an emergency craniotomy and will continue his treatments with chemotherapy and radiation. "Chemo is gonna be expensive and we’re gonna try to really attack that tumor with the chemo,” said the upbeat nurse, as per ABC15. His one goal "coming out of the hospital, was to return home to his family, his friends, and his dog back" at home, and he was able to do that at least.

Despite the state of his health, Ian wants to continue volunteering. "I mean COVID is still ramping up all over the place,” said he. "It’s a calling you know, If I am feeling well enough I may volunteer to go to Texas where cases are skyrocketing."

Source: GoFundMe

He wants to continue volunteering where he's needed with whatever time he has left. "You know just having the love of everyone around me is really what helps keep me positive,” said he.

This disease kills 50% of people who are diagnosed with it within two years. It is also the same thing that killed Senator John McCain. There are some clinical trials available but they don't ensure that he would receive the treatment as they may be "blinded." This means that he wouldn't know if he received the actual drug or a placebo. Another option is a medical device called Optune, which may slow the tumor's progression. It would require him to wear it on his head daily, as per PEOPLE.

References:

https://people.com/health/nurse-who-fought-on-coronavirus-frontlines-now-battling-brain-cancer/

https://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/valley-nurse-battling-cancer-still-hopes-to-continue-volunteering-amid-coronavirus

https://www.gofundme.com/f/beat-down-brain-cancer-for-nurse-ian-youngblood

Recommended for you