SDA Pro Tour Shaken by Johnstone Cancer Diagnosis

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Johnstone (l) in the Big Apple Open.

The SDA community is rallying to support SDA veteran Shaun Johnstone, who revealed a recent diagnosis of Pancreatic cancer.

13613126_977685857640_5176288931148488299_oJohnstone, thirty-two years old, is based in Locust Valley, New York, and is a teaching professional at the Piping Rock Country Club.

The Zimbabwean international played No. 1 at Trinity College and has competed on the SDA tour since 2012 and the ISDA tour before the inception of the SDA.

Johnstone is seeking one to one donations to offset medical costs on his fundraising page.

Read a statement from Johnstone below:

Hello Everyone,

Thank you very much for visiting my fundraising page and considering helping me win my fight against pancreatic cancer.  All donations are tax deductible with donations going directly to pay for medical and treatment-related expenses.

As many of you know, I was born and raised in Zimbabwe but came to the United States to attend college. I graduated from Trinity College in 2008 with a degree in psychology and where I helped lead the squash team to four straight National Championships! Since graduation, I have been coaching squash at a private club on Long Island, NY.  I’ve been blessed to have the experiences I have had and I am thankful for the incredible group of friends I have developed around the world!

This past month, December 2016, I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer which had spread to my liver. Surprisingly, I had no symptoms at all before being diagnosed. The cancer was actually found during a routine physical. I have subsequently been poked and prodded more times than I care to think about and I am receiving incredible care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City (I have also consulted with Dana-Farber in Boston). I have two of the best pancreatic specialist in the country treating me!

Pancreatic cancer is extremely rare in people my age and I don’t have any of the typical risk factors associated with the disease. Other than the cancer, I am young, fit and extremely healthy so I am very hopeful that I will be able to beat this disease!

I am ready to fight this unfortunate battle and I have a great team of family and friends standing beside me. My specific type of pancreatic cancer (neuroendocrine) is the less aggressive form and has better outcomes. Importantly, cancer research continues to move forward at an incredible pace and there is hope that we are getting close to a cure. There seem to be more treatments and advances unveiled every day!

The bad news is that pancreatic cancer is an aggressive cancer with no currently known cure. Cancer is also ridiculously expensive to treat and I will need help to pay for expenses associated with the treatment. These include: co-pays, medications, transportation and other related expenses. I’m not one to ask for help, but I won’t be able to do this on my own – any amount makes a huge difference!

I cannot say thank you enough for helping me get through this difficult journey. With the generous support of my friends and family, I look forward to a day when I can report that I am cancer free.

Thank you,

Shaun