Posts Tagged ‘leukemia’

Coupeville volleyball coach Raven Vick and boyfriend Phillip Galvan enjoy a moment together. (Photos courtesy Vick)

It was a bittersweet homecoming.

Former Coupeville High School volleyball ace Raven Vick returned to the courts of her youth this fall, joining Cris Matochi in coaching the Wolf middle school spiker squads.

Being active in the same gym where she once played alongside twin sister Willow, helping a new generation of young women embrace a sport she loves, was fulfilling and gave her momentary respite from the real world.

What very few have known during this time is the journey Raven and her boyfriend of a year, Phillip Galvan, have been on.

The couple met while students at Seattle Pacific University, brought together initially by their work as resident advisors.

Raven, who was focusing on Communications and Women’s Studies, was wrapping up her degree.

Meanwhile, Phillip, whose family lives in Colorado, was in his third year of Mechanical Engineering.

The duo became an official couple Nov. 19, 2021, only to have their world upended several months later.

Phillip was diagnosed this past March with acute myeloid leukemia, an especially aggressive form of blood cancer.

Standing strong, together.

Phillip returned to Colorado for treatment, with Raven joining him there after her graduation from SPU in June.

In August, Phillip celebrated his 21st birthday and received a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Allie, which sent him into remission for two months.

Raven returned to Coupeville at the end of the summer, applying for the middle school coaching position as a way to help “clear my head and readjust to life at home.”

She chose to keep her boyfriend’s cancer fight largely private during the season but is publicly acknowledging it now as Phillip has recently relapsed.

“It was caught quickly,” Raven said. “So, we are hoping for this treatment to get him right back into remission.”

With the CMS volleyball season done, she plans to return to Colorado in the next few weeks to spend time with Phillip as he continues his fight.

As they move forward, the duo draw solace from their religious faith, and the emotional support of their many supporters.

Raven’s request is simple and heartfelt.

“We just ask for all of the prayers and good thoughts for him and his family.”

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A popular teacher at Coupeville Elementary School has been diagnosed with leukemia, and her friends and co-workers are rallying around her.

Jackie Gelston teaches third grade at CES and was formerly employed in the South Whidbey School District.

She and husband Chris have two daughters — one in college and one attending middle school — and the family has been a vital part of the local 4H community.

As she begins her fight against cancer, Gelston is expected to be in the hospital for an extended period of time.

She will not be able to finish the 2021-2022 school year, and is not expected back in time to start the 2022-2023 campaign.

Fellow Coupeville teachers Corinn Parker and Christi Messner are spearheading campaigns to help their colleague and her family.

Parker launched a meal train, which had an overwhelming response, while Messner has posted a GoFundMe to allow people to help the Gelston family with medical costs.

“We are a small group of friends trying to help a fellow friend,” Messner wrote.

“We want to raise funds so she does not have to worry about the day-to-day expenses of her family and medical bills as she fights.

“We want to relieve as much stress from Jackie as we can.”


For more info and to donate, pop over to:


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