Every photo has a story behind it. The winner of our contest Remembering 2012 with Memoto, Jake Jager, has taken time out of his busy life as a high school student in Michigan to share the story behind his winning photo.
I first heard the word cancer when I was 3 years old. That’s when my grandfather was diagnosed with ocular melanoma. I remember my brother’s first birthday because we took a piece of birthday cake to my grandpa at U of M hospital. He was there for 4 days of treatment and had appointments for years after, but he was cured, so cancer wasn’t a big threatening monster at that time.
Fast forward a few years and that all changed. I was 10 and my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. He spent the next 20 months in treatment, while trying to work and be dad to two young sons. My family lost him in January 2007.
The next few years had my family busy with living life as fully as we knew how. Cancer was never forgotten.
In the fall of 2011, cancer returned to my family, but this time it was me…. On September 29, 2011 I found myself at U of M hearing the dreaded word: cancer. Then I heard other scary words: Osteosarcoma, biopsy, limb salvage surgery, chemotherapy and a lot of other things I didn’t understand. However, one thing I did hear was cure. My kind of cancer can be cured. Being able to hear the word cure, created hope. Hope created motivation which created what I hope has been a positive attitude. I went through many rounds of chemotherapy, along with a surgery to remove the tumor in my right leg. I have finished my treatments and I’m now living each day to it’s fullest. My prognosis is great, and I plan to live a full, fulfilling life.
Jake is a high school senior from Michigan. He is involved in his school’s drama and choir programs. He recently co-directed a summer theatre production and one day hopes to work in the entertainment industry.