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Chris Pelletier

The Ultimate Silver Lining

Chris & Sarah PelletierChris Pelletier, age 28, from Maple Lake, was electrocuted in a work accident in November 2015 after working eight years as a power lineman. Little did he know this life-threatening accident would actually save his life.

While seeing his doctor following the accident, they found he had acute promyelocytic leukemia — he had no signs or symptoms of the disease. “The most challenging thing for me was how much my life changed after being diagnosed at age 26,” Chris said. “After recently getting married and settling into our home, dealing with cancer every day was something I never expected to happen to me.”

Chris began chemotherapy immediately and completed his last session in August 2016 . “My wife and I like to go camping and fishing in Canada as much as we can in the summer,” he said. “On my last day of treatment, we literally brought the boat and camping supplies with us, parking them in the lot during chemotherapy. After I finished, we headed straight for the Canadian border!”

Chris feels very grateful for the love and support he received from his family and wife, Sarah, who has been a nurse at CentraCare Health since 2011. During treatment, Sarah worked in the Emergency Trauma Center and after treatment transitioned to Coborn Cancer Center.

“After going through this experience, I really wanted to help others on their cancer journey the way we had been helped, especially those in the young adult population,” Sarah shared. “Working at Coborn Cancer Center has been the most rewarding work of my life. Oncology patients and their families are the most kind and thankful people. Those that I’ve cared for and worked with have touched my life in unexplainable ways.”

Chris is also thankful for the personalized care he received. “The crew at Coborn Cancer Center was top-notch,” he said. “They have the best mix of nurses, nursing assistants and volunteers. You can really tell that everyone enjoys the work they do and that makes a huge difference to us patients. In total, I had more than 100 chemo treatments and they always made us feel welcome. By the time I finished up treatment, we really felt like family. Dr. Jurgens has been such a great oncologist. He’s so knowledgeable and easy to get along with. During my treatment and now at my follow-up visits, I always know I’m getting the best care.”

Future hopes and dreams for Chris are to remain cancer-free and to start building a family with his wife, Sarah. He’s learned a lot and stated, “Life is short, never take anything for granted. This unexpected journey has really helped us put what’s important in life first, and to not sweat the small stuff.”

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