Cancer can try, but still, I RISE!

In the blink of an eye, just like that, from one day to the next, life can change and leave you fighting for it. That is what happened to Jeff, and while he could have easily thrown his hands up in the air and given up, he kept a smile on his face and told Cancer that it was about to fight one heck of a tough opponent.

If you don’t know Jeff, welcome to his story. He is too humble to write this about himself, so we are doing it on his behalf because we believe he deserves it. I guarantee that when you are done reading, you will admire him as much as we do.

In 2008, at the age of 34, Jeff was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and remained asymptomatic until January 2017, when, at 44, he began his battle against Stage 4 Lymphoma. The cancer not only affected his lymph nodes, but had travelled to his liver, spleen, lungs and soft tissue making for a very difficult reality that this was going to be a long and challenging battle. While this news would have shattered the lives of many, during the entire 6 months of intense treatments, Jeff always remained positive. No matter how awful or sick the chemo made him, no matter how much weight he lost, the one thing Cancer was not able take away from him was his sense of humour. On his treatment days, the hospital staff looked forward to seeing him because of the positive energy he would exude, he kept them and fellow patients laughing and never let how he felt physically affect his spirit. While you would expect his days to need brightening, he was the one brightening days. Even in the midst of feeling nauseous and dizzy during his treatments, he would send upbeat, sweet and loving messages to his supportive and longtime fiancée, Crystal. At family gatherings, even though he was exhausted and had every reason to stay home, he always made an effort to stop by. Jeff is a loving fiancé, and amazing father and step-father to 5 kids. He is the kind of friend you know you can count on, and the kind of person you feel lucky to have in your life.

Unfortunately, and to everyone’s surprise, after being in partial remission for merely 4 months, Jeff’s cancer has returned. He is undergoing additional chemo treatments in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. It is time for Jeff to pick back up those boxing gloves and show Cancer that he has a lot of fight left in him and won’t give up. He has a fiancée to make his wife, children to someday walk down the aisle, future grandchildren to spoil, and future goals to fulfill, including completing the Tough Mudder in Las Vegas.

Cancer not only takes away your health, but also your ability to work and provide for your family. In an ideal world one should not have to worry about anything other than fighting for their life. Unfortunately, this is not reality for most people. Jeff does not have any insurance. Crystal and Jeff were able to find the strength to get through the first round of treatments and expenses, but that was not without its challenges. We don’t want them to struggle any more than they already have, nor do we think they should face this alone. If someone needed help, whether it be a family member or a stranger, Jeff would be the first person to give them the shirt off of his back, so even if you don’t know him I ask that you please do for him what I know he would without a doubt do for you. Every dollar helps and will go towards supporting Jeff - it will allow him to focus on getting better without having to worry about the financial side of things.

To the most determined and bravest guy we know, we end this message with:

“You wake up every morning to fight the same demon that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery”

Thank you in advance for your support.


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Crystal Marier Tanya Henry 
Gatineau, QC
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