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

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

The Horsefly highway at the Bells Lake Road junction is closed Friday morning, April 23, 2021. (Eric Irving Facebook photo)
‘There is no simple solution’: Floodwaters collapse Horsefly Road east of Williams Lake

Beaver Valley Road to Likely Road the best option for those with cars

Red dresses hang in front of the Cariboo Friendship Centre in Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)
Advocates call for stronger judicial protection for women of domestic violence

May 5 is National Day of Awareness on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

First Journey Trails CEO Thomas Schoen (from left), Jimco Services’ James Doerfling, Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars and Sugar Cane Archaeology’s Marvin Bob break ground on a new mountain biking trail network project at WLFN. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
WATCH: Williams Lake First Nation breaks ground on multi-use bike trail project

Phase one of the project will see the construction of a 1,750-metre hiking and biking trail

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As the snow in Manning Park melts, searchers are able to get a little farther each day. Photo submitted
B.C. family resumes search for son missing in Manning Park since October

‘This is our child, and we don’t give up on our children,’ said mom Jordan Naterer’s mother Josie

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada buys 65M Pfizer booster shots for protection against COVID-19 variants

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the deal with Pfizer includes options to add 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and an option for 60 million doses in 2024

A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)
#FireBenning movement gets off the ground in Metro Vancouver

Canucks fans raise enough money to fly banner over Metro Vancouver asking for team GM to be canned

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday February 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to announce travel restrictions today to limit COVID-19 spread

Mike Farnworth is expected to give details of what the government views as essential travel

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
UPDATED: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

Most Read