Kansas City-area nurse diagnosed with cancer while battling COVID-19

'World turning,' she says
Elizabeth Walters.png
Posted at 6:23 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 23:41:45-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An outpouring of support continued Tuesday for a Kansas City-area nurse struck with health challenges.

Liz Walters, a registered nurse at Saint Luke’s Hospital in KCMO, was first hospitalized Oct. 3 with what she believed were virus symptoms, only to be hit with an earth-shattering diagnosis.

“World turning,” she said. “To go from living your normal, very independent daily life to all sudden being in the hospital and then all of a sudden getting a cancer diagnosis.”

After a barrage of tests and an extended stay, doctors diagnosed the Lawrence native with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), forcing the RN out of work and into strenuous treatment.

In a month full of unexpected moments, one constant remains, according to Walters: her co-workers.

“Working in a hospital on a unit, specifically our unit, I feel like it's a very special unit,” said Hannah Loudermilk, a nurse in the same unit as Walters.

Looking for a way to support a friend who was always there for them in rough times, the group turned to GoFundMe with rapid success, raising over $14,000 in less than 72 hours.

“No one is less deserving to be in the situation that she's in right now,” said Rebecca Rice, another friend and co-worker of Walters’. “But there's no one more deserving for help and the support that you're getting back.”

Staying optimistic, Walters is eager to return to work upon beating cancer.

“I would go back and help all those patients if I could, but right now I have to focus on me and I'm going to get myself back there,” she said.