“My family is my biggest hobby. It’s a balancing act with a job that requires shift work. But, I put my family first."The law enforcement officer and father of three prides himself in being there for his family and his community, often helping at his oldest daughter's school and being involved in his church.
He had symptoms he said he ignored for a long time, but called the doctor after his wife's urging in mid-September 2005. That same day, he found out he had testicular cancer. He immediately thought of his family, his daughter just 6 months old at the time.
"The thought of death didn’t bother me. I wasn’t worried about dying; I was worried that my daughter wouldn’t know me," he said. Jason went for three weeks of precautionary follow-up radiation treatment at Hickman Cancer Center at ProMedica Flower Hospital following surgery. The man whose life revolves around family found an even larger one in the staff, who became his biggest support group.
Jason said he was amazed how positive the staff can be, even when having to deal with the negatives. He relates to the staff because of his own profession as a law enforcement officer, which can also deal in unpleasant news. He explained the team of nurses he had are called to their jobs much like police officers and firemen, "only firemen are loved more than cops," he laughed. All joking aside, he said cancer helped cement his priorities further and has given him a deeper purpose in life.
“I can tell you I’m thankful for having cancer. I can’t tell you I enjoyed hearing the words ‘you have cancer’. But it’s given me a platform to help other people and spread God’s word."
Beyond Jason’s ProMedica family, his own family got bigger as he and his wife welcomed twins three years after his treatment.