Steve Palen’s story

My wife, Liz, and I never spoke about it, but we both thought that I might not make it. I had been living with Hepatitis C, which attacks the liver, for more than four decades, when I was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2007. We were living in Nanaimo at the time and it wasn’t until I was referred to Dr. Paul Sobkin in Victoria that I thought I stood a chance. I didn’t notice his wings and halo at first, but they were there.

Dr. Sobkin does more than just his job. He helped me fully understand my situation and my options. He helped me get on the liver transplant list and, using the advanced technology we are lucky to have here on Vancouver Island, he kept my cancer under control.

With what’s called an Interventional Angiography System, Dr. Sobkin performed two treatments multiple times. He first directly injected my tumours with alcohol and when that method was no longer effective, he found the arteries that supplied the tumours, filled them with chemotherapy and closed them off to deprive them of their blood supply. Unlike traditional chemo, the drugs did not go through my body and I suffered few side effects.

These treatments kept me alive long enough to successfully receive a transplant. Without the Interventional Angiography System and Dr. Sobkin’s treatment plan, I would not have survived.

Today, I am asking you to help the Victoria Hospitals Foundation purchase two new Interventional Angiography Systems, one at Royal Jubilee Hospital and one at Victoria General Hospital.

I lost my first wife and my brother when they were young. Knowing all too well the pain of losing loved ones before their time, I didn’t want my family to go through that. And thanks to Dr. Sobkin and the amazing medical technology that supports his work, they didn’t have to. Today, Liz and I share a wonderful life. We love spending time with our children and six grandkids and I enjoy pursuing my passions of music and art.

Please give what you can so more people have a chance at a long, happy and healthy life.

Learn more about our campaign.