Community jumps in to support Kipp Nash and family

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The Salt Spring community has once again taken quick action to support a friend in need during a time of medical distress, meeting an $18,000 GoFundMe campaign goal for Kipp Nash and his family in just three days.

Nash, age 43, is known to many families as the head coach of Salt Spring Gymnastics. He underwent his first surgery to remove a brain tumour on Thursday, Jan. 11.

“Beginning this new year facing such a challenge has shown me that I do not stand alone. I have so much gratitude for all those hands that are holding my own; firmly felt is the embrace of my extended family,” Nash said from the hospital on Saturday.

The tumour is thought to be benign but was causing significant physical symptoms by pressing on the optic nerve.

“It was a surprise to all of us, and the diagnosis to operation was a short window of time,” said family friend James Cowan, who launched the GoFundMe campaign on Friday.

Nash had experienced some symptoms such as light sensitivity and seeing stars after bending over. He also developed some food sensitivities. Both he and his wife Kate felt the sum of those small matters potentially amounted to a more serious one.

“They had kind of a hunch something bigger was going on,” Cowan said. “They advocated strongly for a CT scan.”

The exam took place just after the New Year, and with confirmation of a tumour, surgery was scheduled right away. Doctors were unable to get all the material on the first round. At least one more surgery through the nasal passage will be required this week, with the potential for more invasive action if doctors fail to remove the entire tumour at that point, Cowan said.

After surgery is completed Nash will be on a period of enforced bed rest at home while he recovers, a difficult thing to ask of an active person.

For more on this story, see the Jan. 17, 2018 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.

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