by Samantha Lund, News Editor

After being diagnosed with cancer, 20-year-old Gailon Wixson-Pursley left Pacific Lutheran University for a semester to fight back.

Wixson-Pursley has been in a continuous battle with a rare form of cancer and that battle forced her to take off the last semester of school and move to Seattle to be closer to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Wixson-Parsley and her mother moved to the Ronald McDonald house two blocks away from the hospital and they have lived there for the last six months.

Moving out of a dorm and into a small Ronald McDonald room was not an exciting idea for Wixson-Pursley but she was happy when she arrived and the rooms were nice, clean and big. However, one problem did come up when they turned on the lights – a horrible buzzing noise that did not stop. Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 8.14.33 PM

After six months of treatment, Wixson-Pursley is cancer free and wants to give back to the Ronald McDonald House because they did a lot to make her feel comfortable and safe during her fight with cancer. Wixson-Pursley decided she wanted to take out all the lights and replace them to make everyone’s stay better.

For Wixson-Pursley, the buzzing is clearly not the worst thing in the world, it does not compare to what she has been through. However, more than most people, she understands the feeling of being sick and fighting cancer with an annoying buzzing that will not stop.

For Christmas, she is asking the public to get involved and donate to this cause. The project will need about $30,000 to be complete and have new lights in every room.

Wixson-Pursley will come back to PLU in February and continue to finish her degree in social work.

Find Wixson-Parsley’s full article and video here.


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Samantha Lund was the Editor in Chief at The Mast, a student-run newsroom within Pacific Lutheran University, in 2015-16. Lund created Mast Magazine in 2015 to give students a forum for long form news pieces. She could be found writing for Pacific Lutheran University's Marketing and Communication site or interning at MOViN 92.9's morning talk show in Seattle. Other places to find her content include: Alaska Airlines blog and website, The News Tribune and The Bremerton Harald.