After fighting cancer for five months, Curtis Beery is ready to start living life again like a normal 19-year-old.
Beery is a Sequim native who was diagnosed with Stage IVB Hodgkins Lymphoma in May. Since his diagnosis, he has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments at Seattle Children’s Hospital and recently received good news.
“I got my most recent scans back and they said there’s no tumor activity,” Beery said.
He was undergoing chemotherapy for about five months and finished radiation on Oct. 10.
Beery said Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage IVB means the cancer spread past his lymph system and into his bones.
During his chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Beery had the opportunity to be involved in a trail study where he received the standard arm of chemotherapy and less radiation.
“Everything happened very quick,” Beery said.
“It’s nice to be back home.”
Beery was staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle, a nonprofit corporation that provides housing, meals and other services to patients undergoing cancer treatments at Seattle Children’s Hospital and their families. Beery was able to come back home to Sequim just a few weeks ago.
During his time at the Ronald McDonald House, Beery said coincidentally he met two boys around his age named Rylan and Robert who shared the same cancer diagnosis and were in the same stage of treatment as him.
“I think we’re going to be lifelong friends,” Beery said.
He said he still talks to the boys today in a group chat.
After his time at the Ronald McDonald House, Beery also said he would like to bring the Mike Beery fund to the site and give back.
“A dream for that fund would be to come to the Ronald McDonald house and do a dinner and help out,” Beery said.
“It would be a way of thanking them.”
Beery said most of the patients that stay with their families at the Ronald McDonald House are young children.
“It put things into perspective and was humbling,” Beery said.
“Mostly because of seeing the other patients,” he said.
“They have worse cancers than I do and have to be there for a lot longer,” he said.
Beery had a GoFundMe campaign that was started for him in May that raised a little more than $3,000 and has been able to cover his medical costs and other expenses such as gas money for ferry rides to and from Seattle.
He said with the money left over he is putting it in a savings account to help pay for his future education or career path.
Beery said he still has his sights set on firefighting in the near future.
While he was in Seattle, Beery said he met Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins and the Engine 38 crew that came to visit him at the Ronald McDonald House.
“It was really neat. I appreciated that a lot,” Beery said.
“It was cool to hear their perspective of what it’s like to be in Seattle.”
He also received recommendations from the crew for fire science programs at community colleges in Everett and Spokane. One of the crew members offered him a place to stay if he pursued a fire science program at Everett Community College.
Beery also said he is thinking about attending Peninsula College or applying to work for Olympic Ambulance so he can stay close to home.
“I have some deciding to do,” Beery said.
He said his favorite thing coming home so far is, “being with family and friends,” and doing activities such as hunting with his uncle and golfing with his grandfather.
Jody Beery, Curtis’ mother, said they are trying to regroup and start living normal lives again but she is happier than ever now that her son is done with treatment and after receiving the good news of no tumor activity.
“I’m thankful,” she said.
Beery and his family would like to thank the many groups and individuals that supported him during this time such as the Peninsula Children’s Clinic, facilitators of his GoFundMe campaign, B & B Lavender Farm, Clallam County Fire District 3 and Seattle Fire Departments, Karen Sande, the Sullivan family and the Sequim community.
To read more about Beery and his journey, visit https://www.rmhcseattle.org/2017/10/19/curtis-story/.