Jordan's story: Overcoming obstacles

Jordan's story

Jordan's story: Overcoming obstacles


The road to medical school can be difficult for anyone. Now imagine being diagnosed with lymphoma at the same time. For Jordan, his plan has been to manage a challenging pre-medical program and his lymphoma with quiet resolve and the love and support of his family and friends.

The support I get gives me the reason to get up and not feel sorry for myself. I have to get through it—if not for me, then for all the people that care.

After Jordan graduated from college, he switched gears to focus on going to med school rather than law school. This meant he needed to take the required courses before he could even consider applying to medical school. It was shortly after beginning his pre-medical program that Jordan was blindsided with the news of his diagnosis. "I felt like I had gotten hit by a train."

The first few days were surreal as he struggled to process the news. But after the initial shock, Jordan was ready to face this battle through any means necessary. He and his family adopted an attitude of acceptance, and then determination. There was no time to think about "what ifs" and fears. Jordan kept his eyes on his future, and his goal of becoming a doctor never wavered.

Cancer has been an obstacle to overcome. But I haven't changed who I am or what I do. I see it as something that life threw at me and that I have to get through.

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Jordan is enrolled in the pre-med program at Columbia University.
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Jordan takes a call while walking on campus.
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Jordan laughs while walking with friends.
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Jordan and his girlfriend, Emily.
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Jordan and Emily take a moment to catch up.
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Jordan studies his notes.
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Jordan and his brother, Josh, play ping-pong with some friends.
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Jordan and his parents in their living room.
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Jordan and Josh share a laugh.
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Jordan and his mom warmly embrace.
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Jordan hugs his dad.

Jordan admits that things would be a lot different without having the love and support he has had. In fact, it's the love he receives from his family and friends that reminds him what he's fighting for. He knows there are people around him who are counting on him to get healthy. And Jordan has no intention of letting them down.

Emotional support and self-care have been key for Jordan. Even the small moments when people check in motivate him to keep going. And taking care of himself mentally has been integral to his healing. His worst days are the days when he is in a bad place emotionally. The best days are when he finds the strength inside to face the world with a smile. Fortunately, the support he gets from everyone around him makes the good days more common.

It's almost surreal, the amount of love and support that's coming from all different angles. It's what makes those bad days much more manageable.

Jordan is someone who likes to be in charge, and that's no different with his treatment. He's made sure to face this challenge on his own terms and not let cancer overtake his life. For example, it was important for him to stay in school. The alternative of staying in bed and feeling sorry for himself was not an option. Throughout grueling treatments and scan anxiety, he finished the first year in his pre-medical program with flying colors. Having cancer hasn't stopped him from doing the things he sets out to do. Even though he's had to make big adjustments, he's living the life he wants to live—with or without cancer.

The biggest myth about cancer is that it consumes your whole life. Just live your life around it, and keep doing the things you want to do.