Jon, 37, is first and foremost a husband to Kerry and a father to Annie, 4, and Ollie, 2. Both Annie and Ollie are a true testament to Jon and Kerry’s parenting. They are a happy, grounded family and are surrounded by family and friends that love them.
However, Jon needs to be more than a wonderful husband and father right now…he must be a fighter.
On Monday, November 19th, Jon was given a pathology report with the diagnosis of a grade 4 glioblastoma. Doctors told him that molecular markers indicate a resistance to traditional chemotherapy, so Jon is to start a trial cancer treatment the first week of December at Cleveland Clinic Hospital. This treatment will include radiation and a trial cancer drug which will be administered 5 days per week for 6 weeks.
This medical journey began in early October when Jon began having headaches and fatigue. Three weeks later, he was diagnosed with brain cancer at a local Akron hospital and was told it was inoperable. The family had him transported to Cleveland Clinic that same day for a second opinion. The Cleveland Clinic team said the cancer was most likely a glioblastoma but would need to confirm the diagnosis by biopsy. Upon review of Jon’s MRI, the neurosurgeon felt that he could debulk the tumor. Surgery was completed on November 1 and roughly 90% of the tumor was removed. A few days later, Jon underwent a second surgery to place a shunt in his brain to combat swelling and fluid buildup. He was also placed on a variety of medications that include anti-seizure medications and high dose of steroids to help reduce the swelling in his brain. After discharge and a short time at home, Jon was readmitted to the hospital for several days in order to monitor possible seizure activity, changing levels of consciousness and a loss of feeling on his left side. To compound the challenge, the location of the tumor and the side effects of Jon’s prescribed medications have left him with an extremely high level of anxiety, which has led to a lack of sleep, confusion, memory loss, and uncertainty.
It is impossible to imagine the emotional, physical, and financial strain this diagnosis and medical treatment has had and will continue to have on this close-knit family. Jon is currently on short term disability and Kerry is taking a family medical leave of absence to care for her husband. They will need to commute nearly an hour, each way, to get to and from Cleveland Clinic for weeks during Jon’s cancer treatment, and this is in addition to Jon’s occupational and physical therapy that occurs 2 times per week so that he can regain his strength and recover from his surgeries. During the time that Jon and Kerry have been at the hospital, they have been grateful to have their parents caring for Annie and Ollie.
Drumming is Jon’s passion. Once he completes his therapy, his goal is to create a song with his old band, Suspect. This close group of friends, and musicians, hope to speak to others who have had their life turned upside down by cancer. However, before Jon can start writing that song, he needs to focus on healing from his surgeries and becoming stronger so that he can prepare his body for the radiation and treatment ahead.
Let us lift Jon and his family up in prayer. Let us surround them with love and support. Let us remind them they are not alone in this battle. Your donation, regardless of size, will help to take some of the financial burden off Jon and Kerry. It would be so appreciated, as would your prayers for healing and words of hope.
Jon is still the same husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend that he was before this diagnosis. Cancer will not take that away from him. Let us join him in this fight.