Patient Update: “I knew I would come out the other side just fine.”

Paul FitzpatrickWhen Paul was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in 2008, he wasn’t sure where to turn. “It was quite a shock being diagnosed with cancer at 27, and I felt like I’d been thrown into completely uncharted waters. But the doctors who the T.J. Martell Foundation referred me to at Mount Sinai in Manhattan took fantastic care of me. It was clear from the start that they were the experts in their field. When another team first recommended an aggressive course of chemo that could have been debilitating, Dr. James Holland reviewed my case and recommended a less invasive course of oral chemo so I never missed a day of work because of side effects.”

That was almost nine years ago, and Paul is now in remission. At the time, his doctors were unsure what quality of life he would be able to maintain longterm. But he has since welcomed three beautiful children and a few summers ago he rode 105 miles to support cancer patients and survivors in his home state of Connecticut.

“I don’t want to trivialize anything, but looking back almost a decade later, it almost feels like a non-event,” says Paul. “Thanks to the talented people at the T.J. Martell Foundation, I knew from the beginning of this process that I would come out the other side just fine.”

 

Congratulations to cancer survivor, IRONMAN Jan Swenson!

Jan

Our heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to Jan Swenson, who competed in the IRONMAN Lake Placid this past weekend just one year after beating cancer. Jan used his months of training as a platform to raise funds for our leukemia, cancer and AIDS research, and our foundation is grateful for the almost $7,000 raised by family, friends, coworkers and strangers in honor of this inspirational athlete.

We love the hashtag created to commemorate this incredible accomplishment on social media (#CancerHasGotNothingOnIronJan) and feel his wife says it best when she commends the way he “consciously chose not to be a victim of cancer. To fight, to conquer that chemo process, and come back stronger than ever.” Way to go, Jan!

Jan Swenson Competes This Weekend in IRONMAN Syracuse!

20160613_122638_1465835963034Despite a shoulder injury that took him away from training for about a week, cancer survivor Jan Swenson was able to get back to his routine last week and successfully competed a 100-mile bike ride through Morris and Hunterdon County in New Jersey.

This weekend he will be racing in the IRONMAN Syracuse 70.3 and we’ll be sure to post photos when he’s done. Jan is excited to debut his new custom T.J. Martell race kit created by Peal Izumi.

The IRONMAN Lake Placid is less than six weeks away. Don’t forget to donate here to Jan’s fundraising efforts so we can continue to support life-saving leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.

Ramble finish

Guest Blog Post: Update from our IronMan!

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Our friend Jan Swenson, a courageous cancer survivor, is training for this year’s IronMan and donating all proceeds to our foundation. Read on for an exciting update from Jan! 

Wooo-Hoo!! I just received the 6-month “All Clear!” from my Oncologist. It made me rethink where I am in my Journey to Ironman in July and the frustration I feel that I am not faster/ stronger at this point.

20150703_114059It was just about 6 months ago that I had chemicals designed to kill me coursing through by body, the steroids and anti-nausea medications that all have side effects. From the hair loss to weight gain, this was a very stressful time for my body.

 

 

But 6 months out from this and where am I?

12509180_10207967913811985_8773905894292326708_nI am a Disney Dopey Challenge finisher (48.6 miles of running over 4 days).

I am training 10-12 hours a week on top of maintaining my work schedule.

I am eating healthier than I ever have.

It is easy to let the frustrations of the moment cloud your mind with fear and impatience for a body that just went through chemotherapy. I have an ambitious personality and I have set some goals that I would like to hit for July. Finishing Ironman (hopefully faster than I did in 2013, but would be satisfied to finish strong) and raising at least $5,000 for The TJ Martell Foundation (if you don’t know who they are check them out, they are moving some big mountains in researching treatments and cures).

I posted one time on this and with your help we raised about $2,500, and currently at $2,715!!! I want to thank all of the people who have generously donated so far and look forward to thanking everyone who will follow this link to donate. No amount is to big or small. And everything helps.https://donate.tjmartell.org/fundraise?fcid=570733