When John was 15, he felt pain in his left leg. It was brushed off by doctors as a sport injury for many months until a physical therapist flagged that it might be more. When the doctor told him it was Osteosarcoma, he explained that without treatment he would die in a few months. So John endured a 12 year-long journey of treatments, each relapse beating the slim odds that the doctors gave him.
But it wasn’t cancer that took him. He died at 28 years old due to complications during treatment. Because his current chemotherapy treatment had ripped his body of a healthy immune system, and the long-term damage from more than 40 rounds of chemo and multiple immunotherapy trials, his body couldn’t fight the virus he contracted. That’s why research into more effective and safe treatments is so important.
While brutal, these treatments helped John live longer than doctors ever thought possible, extending his life so he could:
- Graduate high school
- Watch football every Sunday with his dad
- Spend countless hours talking with his mom
- Meet the love of his love
- Attend and graduate college
- Visit the Raven's stadium
- Perform stand up comedy
- Play sand volleyball
- Attend grad school in Chicago
- Travel around the country
- Watch one sister get married and another one get engaged
- Get to know his niece and nephew, and have his niece and nephew get to know him
But there's still a long way to go. Without research into rare cancers like Osteosarcoma, teenagers who are diagnosed won't get the chance to experience major life moment. Plus, current treatments are incredibly hard on the body, causing long term damage. That's why research into effective and less harmful treatments is so important.
Donations to John's fund go directly to support the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma fund, which supports Osteosarcoma research.
Through John's treatments, his mantra was always "We've got this" and "There's still some good left in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for." We're here to keep that going. Thank you for your donation and helping kids and teenagers live long and healthy lives so they too can experience the joys many doctors never thought possible.