May 20, 2019
Allison Poore was halfway through her master’s program at Hood College when she was diagnosed with stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system, according to Mayoclinic.org. Poore said stage 2A meant it started out in an area of her chest and traveled up to the lymph nodes in her neck.
“I was enrolled in two classes at the time,” she said. “All this was at night because I work a full-time job too.”
The 29-year-old Frederick native had a job at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and was studying biomedical sciences at Hood.
“I’ll never forget the day when I had my first bad doctor’s appointment,” she said. “I remember driving home and telling my husband Scott, ‘there goes my master’s degree. There’s no way I’m ever going to finish it.’
“It just seemed so impossible at that point,” she added. “You can’t see three months into the future when you find out something like that about your life. Everything kind of just goes blank as far as predictions for how things will work out.”
Poore was diagnosed in September 2016, had six chemotherapy infusions over three months and returned to Hood in February 2017.
She’s been cancer-free ever since.
Poore delivered the graduate speech at Hood College’s graduation on Saturday where she relayed her story and said completing her degree wouldn’t have been possible without her Hood professors, her husband and her parents, Peggy and Curt Younkins.
Poore’s parents also attended Hood and got married there, she said.