Jacob Kaplan-Fighting Angiosarcoma
I got Cancer for my 21st Birthday
My name is Jacob Kaplan and I was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Angiosarcoma. I am a Junior at Princeton University, studying computer science.
A few days before spring break in mid-March 2017, I had been having some stomach pain, but I did not think much of it at the time. I was also dealing with being unable to walk due to a broken ankle that happened to have occurred at the end of February. I flew back to school from Los Angeles after break (yay, back to work and stress), and continued on with normal life there. By that following Wednesday night, my stomach was hurting even worse, so I went to the campus health center. They examined me and thought it might be my appendix, so they sent me to the local hospital. After sitting in the E.R. waiting room for at least 3 eternities I was finally taken back to an actual room to be seen. After waiting even longer, I was finally seen by a nurse. She examined my stomach, called another nurse pretty urgently, and they proceeded to call over my doctor. After everyone had their fill of examining my stomach (who knew my stomach was so popular), I was put on an I.V. and an ultrasound was taken of my stomach. (Boy, would I have been surprised if a baby was giving me all this pain)
The ultrasound showed nothing, and so I was then taken for a CT scan (cat scan) by four in the morning. They had told me I may have gallstones, but I was really hoping I would be in purrfect health. Now is when I quit with the jokes as it is the time in that night that I lost the ability to do so myself.
After reviewing the CT scan results, my doctor came in to share some bad news with me. While they did not find any evidence gallstones, they instead found a mass in my abdomen that they believed to be a tumor. I informed my family, and my dad immediately booked a flight and flew out that morning. I was admitted to the hospital and went through more CT scans, an MRI, and a biopsy on Thursday. Most of the scans showed the same thing, that I had a large growth on my liver, and other small lesions throughout my chest and abdomen. Without the results of the biopsy, they could not give me a specific diagnosis. With the help of my dad and girlfriend, who came to support me in the hospital, and after, I was able to pack up my room, and have some time to return to campus to say goodbye to my friends. That Saturday was my 21st birthday, so I was planning to drink at this big party my eating club (similar to a co-ed fraternity. Instead, I was on a bunch of pain medication, so the best I could do was ask my friends to do a couple shots for me as I explained the situation to a few of my closest buddies before I headed home. I left Sunday morning to fly back to Los Angeles to be with my family for whatever treatment I would need.
Tuesday, April 4th 2017, possibly the worst day of my life, I received the actual diagnosis of my condition. I have stage 4 Angiosarcoma, a very rare cancer that is less than 1% of 1% of cancer diagnoses.
I am undergoing chemotherapy, and it seems to be helping, but this is a cancer for which there is no cure. I am hoping to get to a point where there is no evidence of the disease but I will be battling this for the rest of my life. I am going to fight this cancer and plan to return to Princeton to finish school and get my degree in Computer Science. When I return I will properly celebrate my 21st birthday, even if it’s a little late.
In the meantime, I am receiving my treatment from one of the best Sarcoma specialist, but he is not part of our family health plan. We have chosen the path of the best possible treatment rather than the most affordable. Many oncologists have no experience treating Sarcoma because it is so rare and seeing a doctor who has made it his life’s work to focus on Sarcoma is imperative. This, however, will make the financial side of my treatment a tremendous challenge for my family. I am hoping those who read this will help in any way possible to alleviate some of the financial burden my family is facing.
If the funds donated exceed the cost of my treatment any excess funds will be donated to Angiosarcoma research. Due to the rarity of this type of cancer, there is not much funding available to furthering its investigation, and so with the generosity of those who read this, if possible I hope to able to give back and help those also afflicted with this type of cancer, as well as furthering research to hopefully one day find a real cure for this disease.
Thank you very much for your kindness and support.
On the evening of December 24th 2017 the world lost the most amazing person we have ever known. He was our best friend and son and brother. Jacob Kaplan was so kind and so funny. He could make anyone laugh and he made us laugh harder than anyone else we have ever known. We will never forget him. He was loved by so many. We are not sure how life can be so unfair. He had so much potential to make the world a better place. It is unimaginable to think about having to exist without him.
Cancer has brought unimaginable pain to our family.
Unfortunately, by now his oxygen requirements were so high that the only way to transport him was to sedate and intubate him and put him on a ventilator.
He was successfully transported here to Memorial Sloan Kettering where he has been in the ICU since Thursday night.
He has remained fully sedated and on a ventilator. He is in the toughest battle for his life. The doctors here are doing everything possible for him, but he is very very sick and every day, even every hour, there are changes that frighten us.
We are all just hoping and praying for him to recover from this. We are stuck in New York City sitting around the hospital every day just doing what we can to help Jacob keep fighting. His sister and girlfriend are here with us but we are strangers in this city with no family or friends to support us. Far from home and afraid for Jacob's life.
Please pray for him to have a speedy and full recovery so we can get him home again.
Thank you all for your love and continued support in this terrible journey. Any help that you can offer is greatly appreciated.
In addition to the recent good news, a close family friend of ours, Rob Goldstone, helped me make a video telling my story. I wanted to share that with all of you as well. Who knew that this terrible disease would be the start of my on-screen acting career. Again, thank you to everyone for your continued support and strength.
I don't have money to give I'm a poor single mom who recently lost my job as a Counselor. What I do have is my prayers to a God who is the greatest physician, healer & provider. I don't have the answers to explain why people must suffer in life but I know God loves you & is with you right now & I hope you know Him. If not I pray you open ur heart to Him. I pray for comfort, healing & for others to financially provide to you. God Bless you!!
Hello, I am a '13 grad and live in the NYC area. If you need help finding accommodations or want a meal around Christmas, anything, please let me know if I can help!! I can be reached via Facebook. My mom underwent treatment at Sloan and they're truly incredible. All of the best to you and your family, if I can do anything, please let me know. Happy to being warm, home cooked food etc. Praying and pulling for all of you.
God Bless you man. Your account is remarkable! My account has been a failure. God Bless you. terminal cancer is tough to swallow, I hope you hear yours has been defeated. I'm very disgusted when I see people with these funds to repair tattoos and stupid choices. No one decides to have cancer. Hang in there, keep fighting the good fight.
My husband was just diagnosed with Stage IV angiosarcoma a week ago. He had his first chemo yesterday and we are also wanting the very best for him. I'm wondering if you could contact me with where your family has learned of the best doctors for this type of cancer. If you could point us in the right direction, we would be so grateful!
There are no words. I'm so so sorry, Kaplan family... Sending love and light from The Gordon Family- Mitch, Erin, Andrew and Josephine (Kirk o the Valley family)
Robyn, we are so sorry. Sending you lots of love. From Lesley, AJ, Lincoln and Noble Webster (Kirk of the Valley family)
I came across this when managing my own go fund me account for my BFF. She has breast cancer. I read the update by his parents and started to shake. It made me cry. I knew I had to give something. I would give more if I had it but I also know how every little bit truly counts in the big picture. I hope God gives you victory over this battle. My love to you and your family. Merry Christmas.
praying for you! you can fight this!!
I just stumbled upon this page. I was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Round Cell Sarcoma last December at the age of 29. I just recently finished my last round of radiation, on top of the chemo and multiple surgeries. Jacob, I'm very sorry to see your recent update. Be strong, brother. Your family loves you and this life is worth fighting for. You have goals and aspirations that need to be fulfilled. Get through this hurdle and recover. Mike and Robyn, I was hospitalized less than two weeks ago due to the same symptoms. I spent 6 days in the hospital and was diagnosed with ascites. I'm doing much better now and hope Jacob has a similar outcome. Be strong. Be positive. Wishing your family the best.
I wish I could help but I am just a student all I can do is to pray my for you and all those who suffer from this disease ; i send u all blessing n prayers from Tunisia
Like so many other friends and family we are with you with positive thoughts and sending you strength and love as you keep moving forward through this journey. We love you and know you will stay strong for Jacob and each other. Go Team Jacob!!!
Our prayers are with you! We are so deeply sorry you are going through this terrible experience no words...