What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Osteosarcoma


What age were you diagnosed?

18


What has helped you to thrive?

There were a few things that helped me thrive after my diagnosis. One was remaining positive that everything would be fine. Another was maintaining determination that I was going to get better no matter what it took. A third aspect was taking treatment one day at a time without looking towards the end. Lastly, I got involved with group activities in the teen and young adult lounge of my hospital, where I made some good friends who were going through similar circumstances. I ate and drank water as much as I could while going through chemotherapy. Every day I had a different goal on how to get through rehab. I would increase my walking distance each time I got up from my bed. I even encouraged other pediatric patients on my floor to get off the chemo bed, walk around the floor, and join the activities going on.


Jeff's Story

I am 24 years old, and I am from New Jersey, USA. I was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer known as Osteosarcoma in my left femur and knee in June of 2014, shortly before my high school graduation. I went through chemotherapy for nine months, had my femur and knee replacement in September of that year, and also had two separate lung surgeries to remove nodules of cancer that spread there. I was declared cancer-free on St. Patrick’s day of 2015, which was a bit of a coincidence since that is my confirmation name.

All of my treatment was done at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City, where I was given the best care from the greatest medical staff for this disease. In the fall of 2015, I attended Flagler college in St Augustine, Florida. However I was only there for what would have been my freshman year for two months, and then all of a sudden my entire femur and knee got loose, and it was the worst agony of my entire life, I returned home and had a second femur and knee replacement in January of 2016, with a custom made prosthesis. I return to Flagler for all of my Sophomore Year, and then in August of 2017, the screws connected to my hip got loose and I had to get a third surgery done, which resulted in me missing that fall semester. I returned to college for the following spring and then in July of 2018, I had a fourth leg surgery due to the bottom stem of my prosthesis and knee loosening. However, I had just managed to return for the school year that year. I am now going into my final year at Flagler College over a year out of my last surgery, and have been recovering well since. I had finally finished PT in February of 2019 after four years.

I also have been involved with an organization called the Frances Foundation, who sent my parents, best friend, and I to the final four in Indianapolis in 2015. I was a basketball player who won the New Jersey Group 1 state championship with Point Pleasant Beach High school before my cancer occurred. Therefore this organization thought it be the perfect gift for me, and it’s absolutely was a trip of a lifetime. I can no longer play basketball, but I continue to live life to the best of my abilities. My goal after I graduate college is to receive my master’s degree and work for a history museum or archive. My major is in public history, which covers that sort of field.

READ MORE OF JEFF'S STORY HERE