Friends and family of Sheldon are joining together to raise money to help her battle leukemia
For the last 9 years, Sheldon has been waging an on again/off again battle with AML - acute myeloid leukemia. The first skirmish opened with a round of chemo in Honolulu and a trip to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for a bone marrow transplant. Her brother Todd was the donor. As you would expect, she came through the treatment unscathed and left a path of intimidated interns and laughing nurses!
The transplant did the job of keeping AML at bay until she relapsed three years later. Another trip to Seattle and another 2 rounds of chemo knocked it back into remission. Todd’s cells were still fighting.
Three years later, almost to the month, the same thing happened. Relapse, back to Seattle, and two more rounds of chemo. This time they also added more of Todd lymphocytes for good measure.
This brings us to today – 2.5 years after the last treatments – another relapse and back to Seattle for 2 rounds of chemo and a second stem cell transplant. This time they are trying to find an unrelated donor (Excellent news - we found multiple matching donors!) and will use a different preparative regimen in hopes of eradicating the leukemia.
Throughout all of this, and in spite of it, Sheldon remains one of the most upbeat people around. In between her battles with leukemia, Sheldon competed and placed in many international kite surfing competitions, and won a national championship. In 2009, she won a “Best Paper” award at the Hawaii Conservation Conference less than a month after her last round of chemotherapy. She finished presenting the paper and went straight to the hospital for a blood transfusion. She went on to complete her PhD in wildlife conservation a few months later. For the last 1.5 years she has been devoted to her work as a restoration ecologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. She is also an accomplished salsa dancer, yogi, beach volleyball player, statistician, surfer and ”Vagina Warrior” (google Vagina Monologues). Most recently, she has been leading a project to reintroduce an endemic bird to a Northwestern Hawaiian Island where it was eradicated by introduced species ~ 100 years ago. She is talented, intelligent, and inspiring and quite frankly, the world needs her.
Treatment in Seattle is going great, but it's an expensive city to live in for the 4-6 months of treatment. Rent, transportation, food etc. quickly add up and insurance doesn't cover this substantial burden.
To help ease the financial burden of medical and living expenses, we have set up this fundraising page for Sheldon. Any donation will help and will be delivered to Sheldon directly from this website.
We have had people ask if they can send a donation by mail. Absolutely! Please make checks out to:
Sheldon Plentovich Medical Fund
and send them in care of her brother:
1429 Adella St
Colombia, SC 29210
Frequent flyer tickets can also be donated to help her transportation costs.