From Jason -
As many of you know, 2013 marks 10 years since I finished treatment for undifferentiated soft tissue pelvic sarcoma. (March 10th, to be exact) The journey had just started there. You might know the story: the surgery, the physical therapy, the return to school...and I am still here. It's been a long time coming, but here I am.
Since my diagnosis, I have done my best to get busy living. I've been to hundreds of cities, 19 states, 6 different mountain ranges, race tracks, and stadiums. I've flown airplanes, worked with tanks and driven crazy mountain roads. I graduated college, started grad school and got married. I've spoken to hundreds of medical students and hit the road to spread the news about Stupid Cancer, the organization that allowed me to take my survivorship to the next level.
To commemorate this momentous milestone, I will be celebrating in a few ways. One way you can join me in celebrating is by supporting my fundraising for the OMG Cancer Summit for Young Adults and StupidCancer.org.
I'm asking everyone for a donation in honor of 10 awesome years of remission.
As most of my family and friends know I have been living as a cancer survivor most of my life now. ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) decided to swope in early into my life and try to kill the beginning of my young adulthood and everything else for me. Most people know that I was diagnosed when I was 10 years old (diagnosed July 31st, 1995), but what most of you don't know is that I didn't go into remission until February 23rd, 1998. That's right 2 years and 7 months of cancer treatment hell. Not a lot of people knew that, not even most of my family.
However, even during treatment I refused to let it stop me. I decided to stay in school (even when I was first diagnosed), join clubs, hang out with friends, school dances (with short hair before it was cool) and hey join the basketball team for my 7th and 8th grade year. I did miss out on a lot of stuff because my body would decide that it was not going to have a good day or because I was simply not allowed near large crowds (the fair, mall, or even lunch in the cafeteria!). Not gonna lie, it made for some awkward times in middle school and high school, but I made it!
Now, I'm all over the US for all sorts of reasons. My favorite reason? Spreading the word about Stupid Cancer. Despite having my family there, I always felt alone in my cancer experience. Stupid Cancer fixed that. I want people to know that they are not alone. Not ever. Life gets better, mine did! I'm traveling, meeting amazing people (and some pretty famous ones!), made some awesome friends, and eventually found the love of my life, despite what late term affects keep popping up (to this day!).
I have never written something so openly about my cancer, but as I have crossed the 15 year mark of my remssion date. I felt it was neccessary. So, to commemorate this momentous milestone, I will be celebrating in a few ways. One way you can join me in celebrating is by supporting my fundraising for the OMG Cancer Summit for Young Adults and StupidCancer.org.
I'm asking everyone for a donation in honor of 15 awesome years of remission....heck any amount is helpful! :)
Sometimes life sucks, but you don't have to let it. Hopefully, you can take this story with you and let it inspire you to do great things. Get out there, and Get Busy Living.
Here's some more about StupidCancer.org and the OMG Summit:
Young adults, a largely unknown group in the war on cancer, account for 72,000 new diagnosis each year. That's one every eight minutes. It's also seven times more all than pediatric cancers. This is not OK!
The OMG! Cancer Summit is the premiere oncology conference and social networking event for the young adult cancer movement. A program of the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, the OMG! Cancer Summit, now in it's 5th year, has become a pivotal healthcare event that inspires thousands of survivors, cargivers and providers—along with scores of academic, advocacy, research and support organizations—to get organized, build community and unite as one to drive change.
Join our team and support our efforts to ensure that young adult survivors get the chance to attend this event and participate in a life-affirming weekend of support, education, community and hope.
Stupid cancer. Survivors rule.