Jared didn’t think much of his common cold and sore throat just a few weeks prior to a minor surgery he was receiving. Before undergoing surgery, he had his blood drawn to ensure the procedure could be conducted safely – that’s when doctors noticed his white blood cells and hemoglobin levels were low. After surgery, he immediately started receiving tests and biopsy’s which later confirmed that Jared had an acute form of Leukemia (AML).
“When I was diagnosed, so many things were running through my head but I never let the thought of not surviving cross through my mind.” Jared continued, “Now looking back I think about that as I live my everyday life. I look to make sure I live my life to the fullest and my goal is to have a lasting impact on others.”
At the age of 23, Jared began his journey fighting AML with chemotherapy treatments at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. His treatment plan required Jared to receive multiple blood transfusions, units of platelets, and fresh frozen plasma while undergoing a daily 24-hour chemotherapy drip. He remained in the hospital for almost a month until his blood counts increased back to a normal and safe level. Before being discharged, another bone marrow biopsy was performed which showed that the Leukemia was no longer visible in his marrow.
Unfortunately, Jared’s battle didn’t end there, they needed to make sure the AML didn’t come back. After discussing a few options at Mayo, Jared decided to travel to Tampa and receive four more rounds of chemotherapy at the Moffit Cancer Center. On September 30th, almost six months after his original diagnosis, Jared completed his treatments and signs show that the Leukemia is gone.
A quote that has always stuck to Jared’s heart before his diagnosis and even more now: “Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities, but it cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.” by Jimmy Valvano.
Jared says he has become more active and enjoys participating in sports like golf, fishing and basketball to stay healthy. Though the cancer is gone, Jared continues to see his doctor monthly for checkups with the hope that the AML will truly stay gone.
Jared encourages us all to go to see a doctor annually for checkups and to get blood drawn while you are there. “It is truly worth the prick” he says, “cancer is a scary disease and quite common, it can be beat if found early enough.”