Jason & Sarah's Support Fund
After a few weeks of Dr's appointments and tests we were told that Jason had a tumour on the left side of his brain about the size of a medium apricot. He was immediately scheduled for surgery the following week. Sarah and Jason went to visit their family on Salt Spring for a few days of reprieve to await the call. During that time Jason got progressively worse.
On the morning of July 19th Sarah took Jason to the Emergency as he'd been throwing up all night. The doctors advised that it wasn't the anti-seizure medication causing the side effects, as we had hoped, it was the tumour. Jason was immediately helicoptered to Vancouver for emergency brain surgery.
The surgery has gone well and he is now in recovery but Sarah and Jason have quite a road ahead of them as Jason will have to undergo Chemo and possibly radiation over the next few months. He will not be able to work and Sarah will be taking time off work to be with Jason through treatment and recovery.
We want to raise enough funds to cover their living expenses and unknown costs during Jason's treatment and recovery. Hoping to take all financial stress away so they can focus on Jason's recovery and health.
These two are phenomenal, beautiful, giving individuals and it's now time for us to give back to them. Every little bit helps. They would never do this for themselves so we are putting this up there for them. Thank you all so much for your love and support. If you can't give financially, please say a prayer, light a candle and wear something orange (Jason's favourite colour) for Jason and Sarah, for a speedy and full recovery.
Much love and hugs to all.
Important info required by gofundme:
-I'm Sarah's sister and Jason's sister in law Christina. I started the fund for these two.
-Sarah and I grew up on Salt Spring Island. I live there now and Sarah and Jason will probably be returning there for his continued recovery
-The funds we are raising will go to cover Sarah and Jason's living expenses like rent, food, bills, travel costs, medical costs etc. while Jason is in treatment and can't work. We want to take away as much stress as possible so they can focus on his health
-The funds will be deposited directly into an account that has been set up at Island Savings on Salt Spring for the two of them. It is a support account, people can also donate directly there if they would prefer not to use the website.
I have had plenty of adventures these past months, exploring the beautiful Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park with my wife and in-laws, a 200km bicycle camping trip with my brothers in Quebec, a rope rescue workshop outside of Tofino, preparing for and participating in one of the largest Mass Casualty Incident Exercises in recent history and a lovely sailing adventure to Thormanby Island with our amazing friends.
I have been back at work part time as a paramedic, volunteering like crazy with Search & Rescue and spending plenty of time woodworking, hiking and spending wonderful quality time with friends and loved ones.
On the ol’ melon front, I have been having routine serial MRIs every 3 months and am extremely delighted to report that I have had completely clear scans on every MRI since my Radiation finished over a year ago!
I got the all clear to drive with my commercial license a few months ago and have been feeling very happy and positive.
While I likely won’t ever regain all of the energy I used to have, and I don’t tolerate working night shifts well at all anymore, the beauty of the work life balance I have set up for Sarah and I is wonderful and flexible.
She has been such an amazing, supportive and loving wife, and to see her powerful drive and determination in her work and life is inspiring. We are so excited for everything that is to come.
The support and love from so many people in all aspects of my life has been so heartwarming and I sincerely appreciate all the well wishes and joy.
I have set a goal for myself to hike a minimum of 500 Km in 2018, and continue to love living life as I always have.
It’s going to be another amazing year, I can’t wait for all the excitement and wonder to come.
In February I was finally able to drive my personal vehicle again, sooner than I had expected! I could not believe how much I had missed the simple act of driving! It gave me so much independence back that I didn’t know I had lost. You begin to feel guilty asking for rides to do errands, pick up groceries, go muck about, and with the snow and nasty weather getting around by bicycle was not always ideal.
It did allow for lots of time to read, putter around the house and begin to get my energy up for the next round of chemotherapy, which would knock me down for about a week straight, barely being able to get out of bed for around 3-4 days each month. Nothing a good (or bad) movie couldn’t fix!
I completed my last round of chemotherapy in early April, giving me just enough time to recover before getting married to the incredible, talented and loving woman of my dreams, Sarah. We chose a date in April so my middle brother Jesse would be around from France, and had a perfect day getting married on the top of a mountain with some close friends and family.
The one and only day of beautiful clear blue, sunny skies in a week of rain and grey. From the access road up to the trailhead, to the hike down to the location and the ceremony itself, we could not have asked for a more perfect day and such amazing company. It was quite the memorable adventure for all!
We had a potluck reception at a local hall, with tons of delicious food and desserts, dancing, fun and the most special and memorable speeches. To top the whole evening off was the amazing 3 man puppet show about Sarah & I performed by my brothers Jesse & Jonah, and Jesse’s girlfriend Naomi. Top notch.
A week or two later we departed on our honeymoon trip to Japan, visiting lifelong friends in Tokyo, before heading across the country with our rail passes, visiting a plethora of amazing cities, castles, restaurants, hot springs and traditional Japanese inns. We had an absolutely incredible time and can’t wait to return for more adventures.
We returned (reluctantly!) to Canada approximately a week and a half ago, and got back into life again. I have been working a couple of day shifts a week here on Salt Spring, and so far it’s been the perfect pace, busy enough with some great partners. It will be a good fit for the next while.
I had an MRI on Monday, and received my Results on Friday with fantastic news to report, the scan has shown no regression, no sign of tumor regrowth, and all of the questionable areas from the previous MRI have dissipated to nothing. I could not have asked for better news, and it is a huge relief to hear the news in person. While I was hoping and expecting the news, to hear it makes it so powerful.
I have had no new symptoms, and while I do get a little more tired than before, I am feeling fantastic.
Going forward, unless there are some new dramatic symptoms, I will be getting an MRI every 3 months to follow up, with any possible treatment based on the results.
Today, June 10th is also the one year anniversary to the day that I had the one and only seizure that led to the discovery of my Brain Cancer. I had a (Virgin) Caesar at 0615 this morning, a year to the minute, my “seizure-versary”… I preferred my Caesar this morning by a long shot!
I cannot express how grateful I am for all the support from family, friends & colleagues, without you all I would not be where I am today. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
The first week of January marked my halfway point through 6 months of oral chemotherapy and while the 5 concurrent days I take it makes me barely able to do much more than get out of bed to have a shower due to weakness and nausea (even with heavy duty antinauseants!), the rest of the month I rebound quickly with good energy.
I have been hiking all over the island and with the snowy c,old, clear days, it has been a pleasure to get some "forest therapy".
The Holiday season brought lots of wonderful time spent with loved ones, although by the 4th dinner in a row, Sarah and I were both exhausted and had cereal on the couch for dinner.
I rung in the New Year prepping up for round 3 of chemo, but still managed to get up Mt Maxwell for a view of the sunset (needed chains to get up the roads!).
I received my most recent MRI results this afternoon and am very pleased to report that the results were as good as I have been feeling lately! Clear scan with only the expected enhancements around the surgery "hole", with no changes or growth.
What I was expecting to hear, but nice to have the confirmation!
My bloodwork throughout has been nauseatingly (ha) normal, with only a small dip in platelets 129 (normal 140-400) in the most recent set, which is to be expected and has not caused any bruising or issues.
All said and done, I have been tolerating treatment extremely well so far, and have kept good energy.
Wishing everyone a happy 2017 and I hope this new year brings exciting changes!
It has been far too long since the last update and quite a lot has been revealed and has happened since then.
If you are not aware or are reading this for the first time, the pathology report came back in August showing a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly aggressive brain tumour that is relatively rare in younger people.
I began 6 weeks of radiation therapy with concurrent chemotherapy back at the end of August, staying with great friends as well as commuting back and forth from the island to the Victoria Cancer Agency.
Although 6 weeks was a long time, especially with the travel, it seemed to go by so quickly and I tolerated the treatment extremely well. Despite fatigue and nausea we managed to continue to go on adventures on weekends throughout the treatment, hiking into a windswept beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island with family to flying a sea plane with friends up to a cabin off the sunshine coast.
I am currently nearing the end of a one month hiatus before beginning 6 more months of chemotherapy, and while I am unsure of how I will respond to the continued treatment, I am confident that I will, in the words of so many Cancer agency staff “Breeze through this”.
The local Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper did a very eloquent piece on this unexpected journey and provided a platform to give gratitude and many thanks to everyone who has given their support in so many ways. The Link and an image of the full article have been included with this update.
I want to once again thank everyone for their continued support and thoughts as we go through this unexpected time.
I encourage everyone to not to be afraid or put off that experience, event, travel, life or career change, no matter how big or small, you never know what life may throw your way.
BEST news, keep on truckin' and travelling both of you and taking care of each other, with love from me xxx
Such wonderful news, Jason. As someone posted on your page, "Miracles do happen." What a beautiful story. I am so happy for you and Sarah. Congratulations on your marriage! Here's to more Caesars on many more June 10ths!
WOW! What a great recovery and thank you for sharing your and Sarah's story... I am "Auntie Trin" (Jekka, and by default Christina's, Auntie) and met you briefly at their performance at Mahon Hall. Wonderful news! and congrats on your wedding :) Brilliant!
Dear Jason - thank you so much for this upllifting, good news! We wish you the very best and send positive vibes your way as you continue on the road to complete good health. Keep up your wonderful, positive outlook. Hugs, Dawne and Don
Jason - so happy to hear the good news! You have a positive outlook and lots of support from family and friends. Love Auntie Denise & Martin