Donovan Doroski, right, is pictured with his sister, Coralie. Donovan, who has stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma, recently had his Jeep stolen from him in Seattle where he was receiving treatment. It was found two days later, with some parts stripped.
Donovan Doroski’s trip to Seattle, Wash., to treat his stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma promised to be anything but easy.
The 20-year-old Hood River man is fighting hard to beat his cancer since receiving the diagnosis in November 2011, just a few months after graduating Hood River Valley High School. Over the past couple of years, Donovan’s doctors have employed different methods to help treat his disease, including chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant, with varying degrees of success.
Donovan traveled to Seattle last month for additional chemo and to get ready to receive a bone marrow transplant from his father, Keith Doroski, which was scheduled for Wednesday. But while he was preparing for the procedures, Donovan ran into another, rather unexpected hurdle soon after his arrival: His car was stolen from the parking garage of the downtown Seattle hotel where he was staying.
The vehicle, a 1999 Jeep Cherokee outfitted with several aftermarket accessories, was Donovan’s pride and joy as well as a means of transportation. Donovan bought the vehicle by saving up money he made from his job at the Little Bit Ranch Supply in Hood River before his cancer made it too difficult to work.
The theft received media coverage in Seattle, Portland, as well as the Columbia River Gorge as the Seattle Police Department worked to track down the vehicle. It was eventually found two days after the theft, stripped to the point where the Doroskis were unsure whether the vehicle was safe enough to drive.
Donovan’s mother, Isabelle, says it didn’t take long for the offers of help to come pouring in.
“We want to thank Nelson Tires and Les Schwab Tire Center for their offers of wheels and tires and also C.H. Urness in The Dalles for offering a stereo,” she said in a Facebook message to the News. “We had to turn them down as other businesses [in the Seattle area] had already offered. We are so lucky to live in Hood River amongst such wonderful people!”
Isabelle said two Marysville, Wash., businesses — PEP Boys and Sound Werks — have donated wheels, tires, a battery, a stereo, window tinting, and an alarm system to replace items that were stripped out of the vehicle. The Jeep is currently at Auburn Car Repair and Offroad in Auburn, Wash., where it is receiving additional maintenance.
Isabelle added that people have been asking where to donate to help pay for Donovan’s expensive treatment. Those wishing to donate can go to gofundme.com/77lbxo, www.fundingjar.com/projects/143/project-info, or deposit funds into Donovan’s donation account at the Pacific NW Federal Credit Union on Pacific Avenue in Hood River.
“We are so amazed that after two years of this ordeal, people in our community still care and still want to support emotionally and financially,” Isabelle said.
While the Jeep is getting repaired, Donovan will be worked on himself by doctors at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Last week, Donovan had surgery to insert a tube into his chest used to mainline chemo drugs and endured five days of 12-hour chemo treatments, followed by one day of full-body radiation. After the bone marrow transplant, some of Keith’s natural killer cells will be collected and infused into Donovan, with the hope that the cells will find and destroy any remaining cancer cells that may be present in his body.
Isabelle, who works as a plant operations planner at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, said her bosses, Tyler Andersen and Jean Sheppard, and her coworkers have been “unbelievable” in the support they have shown her throughout Donovan’s illness — including picking up extra tasks and allowing her to work remotely so she can spend more time with her son.
These gestures of compassion have helped remind Isabelle of the positive aspects of human nature despite what was done to her son’s Jeep.
“The world is still filled with kind-hearted people,” she noted, “and it is amazing to see.”