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Wild Path

Our Inspiration

Shannon's Story

When diagnosed with appendiceal cancer, Shannon set out to live each day to its fullest and was determined to never let her condition affect that mindset. In addition to receiving chemotherapy treatments every two weeks for over 5 years at Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, Shannon integrated other non-traditional, holistic therapies that helped her navigate the mental and physical impacts resulting from her condition. Shannon fervently believed that by combining approaches like mindfulness, acupuncture, reiki, self-healing, nutrition, and exercise with her chemotherapy regimen, she was able to double the life expectancy of her original prognosis.

 

Shannon's dedication to these approaches inspires her family, friends, and medical care team to continue on Shannon's path in pursuit of making a similar impact on other cancer patients. 

Dr. Deborah Schrag - Dana Farber Cancer Center

I had the extraordinary privilege of caring for Shannon over the past 5 years. Shannon was courageous, brave, resilient and she was inspirational to me. Despite the horrible bad luck of a cancer diagnosis at a young age, she kept living her life and was so true to her core values despite being dealt a bad hand. It was an honor to be part of Shannon's care team and we will miss her. I am so sorry that we don't have cures for appendix cancer but will always remain inspired to find new and better treatments and ways of caring for cancer by Shannon's grit, her grace and her goodness.

Social Worker - Dana Farber Cancer Center

In my years at Dana-Farber I knew no one, really not a single person, who did as much as Shannon did to keep herself well -- physically, emotionally, spiritually. She knew she would die one day but she kept her focus on living every day and planning for tomorrow and loving her life, loving you, loving her boys and her family. What an amazing legacy, what a gift she gave to everyone who loved her.

Lisa Spellman, Lic. Ac. - Ancient Wisdom Healing Arts

Shannon came to see me early on in her cancer journey. She was looking for some support with the side effects of chemo, but that evolved into so much more! She used acupuncture to deal with low energy, nausea, neuropathy, to boost her immunity, and to treat her pain. I helped her with her recovery from surgery and the effects of hot chemo; and with the shortness of breath, pain and emotional distress that came on as her disease progressed. I also helped her navigate through the maze of decisions that need to be made as a cancer survivor, as a mom and wife, and as a woman with struggles that all women share…  And at the end, she needed a sounding board for how to communicate that she needed (but never wanted) to let go. Mostly, I felt as though I witnessed Shannon’s strength, and her determination to not give any bit of her life away to this disease without a fight.

 

And Shannon was such a fighter! She never wanted to really talk about her disease: she told me once that it had taken enough from her, and she wanted to focus on her life, not on her disease. She was an incredible role model, doing things with her family, creating memories for her boys and for Howie about how it was to be a whole family, living and loving each precious moment.  I miss her and her kind spirit.

Marie Knoetig - Body Within Healing

I am a self-healing practitioner and my work with Shannon helped her to be in the driver's seat to make clear choices on what medical and alternative treatments would serve her best. Shannon became a strong advocate for energy healing as she developed the confidence and had the intuition to make her own important health decisions throughout her illness. Shannon's kindness and innocence brought me to a place where I did not know I could go inside myself to help others, and I am grateful to her for that.  Shannon is still an amazing part of this universe and now you are giving her a bigger voice for her strong mark and legacy to continue!

Sonny Rose - The Healing Beyond Cancer Program

Shannon was referred to me soon after her cancer diagnosis. My therapeutic approach is psycho-dynamic with an emphasis on the mind/body/spiritual perspective. Shannon's goal was to learn how to live life with joy and peace, while learning how to manage the stress and uncertainty that is inherent with a cancer diagnosis. Shannon embraced her inner journey with the use of guided meditations, applying methods for self-awareness, and integrating spiritual inquiry through journal writing. Shannon truly experienced the meaning of living in the moment with joy, love, and peace.

Gail Dobinski, LMT - Nurturing Touch Therapeutic Massage

Palliative care is such a personal journey for everyone, … I was fortunate enough to be included in Shannon’s journey very early on through a gift certificate purchased by one of her friends…The initial goal was to provide some much-needed relief from the stress and rigors of what was to lie ahead thru massage and Reiki … What came from this was a beautiful, multi-year relationship with Shannon, where we worked together as a team, providing her with a safe place to nourish her body and mind, inside and out; no questions asked.  Patient to Practitioner, Women to Women, Mother to Mother…Our connection was solid from the start. The Reiki treatments provided Shannon with the internal strength to push forward during difficult times in her journey.  Through tears, laughter, fear, hope, and much supportive love, Shannon soaked it all in, giving her body as much fortitude possible to continue on and be at her best in the moment for herself and her beautiful family. While Shannon’s body was defying her, the Reiki helped to balance out.  I am honored and humbled at her courage, knowing she was going to have to let go…I will always remember our time together as valuable and meaningful to Shannon’s journey.

Annie Sheehan - AS Fitness

I was introduced to Shannon to help her build her strength and endurance while undergoing cancer treatment.  As a cancer survivor and Personal Trainer I understood her need and determination to live as strong and as long as possible. In March 2020 when COVID hit, 4 years after her diagnosis, everyone was ordered back into their homes.  I saw such an incredible wife and mother. On cold weather days, Shannon led the way in taking Howie, Sam, and Jackson outdoors to do exercises along with her. This continued throughout the year and into the winter months before she passed away, as we went into the cold garage to continue the work. Shannon never stopped. I have always spoken to others about Shannon and she is such an inspiration to many that she never had the chance to meet. She’s my inspiration as well. She gave us “Shannon’s Life Lessons". Never underestimate yourself. You are stronger than you think.  It’s not about falling down but about getting up and going forward. I will always cherish my time working with whom I call my “StrongGirl”, and will hold her dearly in my heart. 

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