By Matt Riedl, features editor
For the past few weeks, Ron Shipley, director of the radiology program at Newman University, has been undergoing chemotherapy to combat the aggressive cancer he was diagnosed with on Sept. 17.
After losing vision in his left eye and suffering headaches, Shipley went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with kidney cancer. The cancer had metastasized into his lungs and brain as well.
In the meantime, Shipley was forced to leave campus for the semester to focus on therapy. His classes were taken over by other instructors from the department and Megan Ziegler, a recent graduate who will finish out the year teaching Shipley’s Radiologic Physics class.
One of Shipley’s friends, Kathy Hammond, clinical coordinator of the Radiologic Technology Department, said symptoms like his often arise suddenly, without any warning.
“When you have a mass of any kind, benign or malignant, you don’t have any symptoms until it gets into an area it’s not supposed to be in,” Hammond said.
Shipley stayed at St. Francis Hospital for 10 days, undergoing various CT scans and radiation therapies.
Shipley is expected to return to Newman next semester. Students in the radiology program said they hope he will be recover soon enough to be able to.
“It’s been difficult without him here but we’re going to have to learn to adjust,” junior Blake Boswell said. “We all hope he gets better soon.”
Shipley has recently finished his radiation treatments and has now moved on to oral chemotherapy, taking pills to fight the tumors.
Shipley will undergo another scan next week to check on the progress of his cancer.
He recently sent out an e-mail to all students thanking them for their support and concern in his situation. He remains hopeful that he will recover soon and be back next semester.
After all, Hammond said Shipley is not the kind of person to stay down for long.
“He’s keeping a good attitude, so we’re all going to keep that attitude,” Hammond said.