French Creek resident Daniel Soepboer is back home on the Island, in hospital in Victoria, after suffering seizures at work in Fort McMurray and being airlifted to Edmonton on April 20.
“He is doing very well considering everything,” said local friend Charlene Zetts by e-mail. She reported that the mysterious condition was eventually diagnosed as anaplastic astrocytoma, a cancerous brain tumor.
Soepboer was moved back to the Island last week after nearly three weeks in Edmonton in and out of comas induced for his own safety.
“He is settling into Victoria General Hospital now and next week they will be having a meeting with the cancer society,” she said of the goal of getting him home.
Soepboer’s wife Kristina Ronning and one-year-old daughter Mishelle have been with him since soon after he was hospitalized.
The rare diagnosis is often related to seizures, neurologic deficits, headaches or changes in mental status, and Zetts said that in his case it is “very wide spread and severe.”
“It has caused a lot of damage to his frontal lobes and is not operable. They had taken his front skull off and now put it back on so his headaches are back and severe but being controlled,” she said.
“For now they are all just enjoying their time together and looking forward to him coming home and making lots of memories no matter what the outcome.”
The 25-year-old is praised as a dedicated family man who eats healthy, works out regularly, barely drinks and doesn’t do drugs.
The news follows a local bottle drive on April 29 organized by friends and family, which the Parksville Bottle Depot described as their most successful ever.
The event raised over $10,000 including bottles, cash and a 10 per cent addition by the depot. An account will remain open at the depot until November under “Dan and Kristina” and donations can also be e-mailed from online accounts to firstname.lastname@example.org.