For Dan Copes, the power of faith, love and destiny always prevails over life’s darkest moments.
When he was suddenly diagnosed with stage IV adrenocortical carcinoma, this mindset became more important than ever.
“Staying in the present moment and believing in a higher plan for everything helps me maintain my heart from living in fear. I trust that whatever lessons I’m meant to learn during this experience are of great purpose for the evolution of my spirit, regardless of the outcome,” Copes said. “I try my best to keep my perspective towards the light and show myself compassion if I drop into the shadows. We all fall into darkness sometimes, but you don’t have to live there.”
The 31-year-old LeRaysville resident and 2008 Elk Lake High School graduate called his prognosis poor and incurable, especially at this stage. His adrenal cancer has metastasized to his liver, lungs, and lymph nodes.
“This cancer only affects one in a million people, and the additional complexities with my main adrenal tumor make it even more rare, as it is an active and hormone-secreting tumor,” he explained. “On top of my cancer, I am now suffering from multiple other diseases brought on by the unique properties of the tumor, like Cushing’s disease, hypokalemia, and hypoglycemia.”
Copes has begun chemotherapy and takes a daily tablet of chemo medication in addition to working on spiritual practices and receiving healing energy from others. He expressed gratitude to the staff at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre for his care.
Being a young man diagnosed with advanced cancer, Copes has his ups and downs. His physical discomfort and pain make it easy to stray away from a peaceful mindset, but his spirituality combined with love and encouragement from people in his life have been a great anchor.
“This tragedy is revealing to me how loved I truly am, and how many people care for me. It makes me feel a little overwhelmed sometimes to hear how many people are thinking of me and praying for me because I don’t see myself the same way others see me, but I am so immensely grateful and cannot express how much it means to me to be so supported,” he said.
Since its creation on July 26, a GoFundMe page for Copes has raised a little over $28,000 of its $30,000 goal. As of Monday, the page had 383 donors and 1.9K shares.
“I extend the deepest gratitude from my heart and soul to all those who have extended support and wished me well. I only hope that I can recover from this disease in order to give all of that love back to the world,” he said.
Copes graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2014, earning a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language with a minor in musical performance. The singer/songwriter for The Dank Hopes Project finds his greatest joy by “uplifting the hearts of others” through music.
His brother Ben, who set up the GoFundMe, shared how Dan is always warm and welcoming to everyone he meets, so it’s no surprise that the community has rallied behind him. This includes people from the local community, but also friends he made in his travels abroad.
“He’s constantly smiling,” Ben said. “I think people are just naturally drawn to him. He’s the least judgmental person you’ll ever meet. It’s super easy to have a conversation with him and even easier to get into an hour-long discussion about anything with him.”
Money from the GoFundMe will help Dan and his family — which also includes his parents Jon and Cheryl and sister Melissa — with medical bills, quality of life aids, and other costs related to treatment.
His partner Kailin Bouse said the reaction to his diagnosis and outpouring of support proves how he touches the hearts of everyone he meets. She asked the community to believe in miracles, as well as the power of prayer, positive intention and collective meditation.
“I ask for you to trust that with our prayers and his own inner strength, Dan can heal. We are all connected, and the energy we put out into the universe has the power to change reality,” Bouse said. “We are here on Earth to learn the lessons our souls need to evolve and grow. Fairness does not exist on the levels of fate and destiny, but love is always present. Please help in showering Dan with the same volume of love and healing that he brings into the world himself.”
Anyone who wants to pass along a message to Dan or find other ways to help this cause or spread the word can email Kailin at email@example.com.