For those who know Shannon, you know that she is a beautiful person inside and out. She is a wonderful mother to Reagan, a loving wife to Mike, an amazing daughter, sister, and aunt. She is also a caring and patient 5th grade paraprofessional and substitute teacher for the Parthum Middle School and an incredibly loyal friend. What you may or may not know, that along with being all these things, Shannon is a fighter. She has spent her whole life battling Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). NF1 is a genetic disorder that affects multiple systems within the body and affects approximately 1 in 4,000 individuals worldwide. NF1 is characterized by changes in skin coloring (pigmentation) and the growth of tumors along nerves in the skin, brain, and other parts of the body. While Shannon has never let NF dictate her life, in these last few years, NF has thrown a few curveballs Shannon’s way. Shannon had begun to have regular seizures, the side-effects of what would later be diagnoses as a brain tumor. Shannon did what Shannon always does and began adjusting to her “new normal”. She received news in April 2018 that she would need to have surgery to remove the tumor on her brain as well as go through radiation therapy post-surgery. The surgery was only successful in removing forty percent of the tumor on Shannon’s brain. While recovering, Shannon received the news that she qualified to begin a clinical trial for a new drug that was developed specifically for NF. Being part of this clinical trial meant that Shannon would not need to have radiation therapy. As you can imagine, the news that there is a clinical trial for a drug specifically for NF was life-changing – not just for Shannon, but for future generations of people with NF – specifically her daughter, Reagan. In early August Shannon still had not yet been placed on the clinical trial for these drugs and began feeling ill again. Shannon underwent a battery of testing that concluded that the tumor that she had surgery on in April had grown significantly over the four months and she would need to have emergency surgery to remove what they could. This time, however, the radiation therapy and the chemotherapy that Shannon hoped to avoid, was mandatory. The type of radiation therapy and chemotherapy that Shannon will undergo will result in lost time at work and lost time with family-this treatment can last over a year. Even with health insurance, the cost of the first surgery alone has caused significant financial strain and unfortunately, the bills have just begun. This is where Shannon’s Army comes in. If you have the means to donate any amount, please consider helping Shannon and her family during this difficult time. The money raised through this fundraiser will go directly to Shannon and will be used to help cover medical expenses, and whatever other expenses Shannon, Mike, and Reagan incur during this incredibly unsettled time. For more information on Neurofibromatosis, please visit The Neurofibromatosis Network at https://www.nfnetwork.org/
Shannon's mom, Lynne Murphy, will be receiving the funds and assisting Shannon in the management of her medical bills, copays, and transportation to treatments.