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Real People

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[cars driving by]

[Jordan] Columbia University. I'm doing my post-bac, pre-med program here.

It's all just a means to an end, I just wanna get this program done and then get on to med school.

I got that call and it was the night before my semester was supposed to start in the spring.

I was diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. It kind of just felt like the whole world kind of ended for a second.

[laughing] He was the first phone call I made after I got the actual diagnosis.

[Director] How far apart are you guys?

[Jordan's Brother] Three years. He always is going to be my little brother, I guess.

We give each other a hard time, it's what we're supposed to do.

[Jordan] When I actually was on the phone with my surgeon, got the diagnosis myself, that was tough, but actually having to then spread the feeling that I felt with the other people that I'm closest to in my life, that was actually the worst part for me.

[Jordan's Mom] I remember getting a phone call from him in school and I don't think I could breathe very well.

[Jordan's Dad] It's a parent's nightmare.

[Jordan's Mom] It is.

[Jordan's Dad] It's a nightmare.

[Jordan's Mom] You can't imagine.

[Jordan's Dad] It's the blackest cloud you can imagine.

[Jordan] You know when you're going through treatments and stuff, of course, yeah, there are days that are worse than all the others.

[Jordan's Mom] If you don't have your family, I don't know how people go through this without an immediate support group.

[Jordan] He actually handled most of the scheduling consultations and stuff like that.

[Jordan's Dad] Jordan and I would go into the hospital, and I would sit with him all day while he was doing chemo, but while I was doing that with him, Deb would scrub every surface of the house so that when he came home everything in the house was clean.

So, because his white blood count was wiped out, he would not get an infection when he came home.

[Jordan's Mom] We all had our jobs to do.

[Jordan] Em would just come over sometimes and just sit on the couch with me and know that I couldn't do anything else.

We've known each other since eighth grade, we went to high school together and everything.

[Jordan's Girlfriend] Besides for those really hard days physically and mentally, Jordan and I hung out all the time and we had a great time when we were together.

It was just kind of like, let's just forget about it, let's just be us.

[Jordan] Other than my parents and sometimes Josh after treatments and Emily, nobody else saw that or knew that side of it.

You know, I'm really stubborn and kinda almost proud of that fact. 'Cause I didn't want to show everybody that I couldn't do something.

Retaining that sense of normalcy is really important, so you don't feel like a cancer patient all the time, you just feel like a person who every couple weeks has to go in for a treatment.

[Jordan's Brother] There is nobody hands-down throughout this entire process that had a better attitude than him.

[Jordan's Dad] You have two choices. Your first choice is saying, "Why me?" And your second choice is get to it.

And if you sit there and you say, "why me?" the cancer gets the better of you, and if you get to it, hopefully you get the better of the cancer.

[Jordan] Whatever it is that you're doing with your life, don't let cancer overtake all of that.

There's always more to you than just the patient, and I think it's important to keep those other parts of you moving and going throughout the whole process.

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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.

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