Jordan Jones Legacy - A Stream of Consciousness by Dr. Pierorazio
Dr. Phillip M. Pierorazio, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Urology and Oncology and The Johns Hopkins University, and is also the Director of the Division of Testis Cancer. Dr. Pierorazio also serves as a Board Member and Medical Advisor for the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation.
Like many of you, I never met Jordan Jones. And like many of you, Jordan has influenced my life in a profound way. A way that I would like to share with you.
I treat testicular cancer patients on a regular basis. I work closely with the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation and other organizations around the country to improve our treatment of testicular cancer. I have lost patients to this disease. I have patients losing their battle to testicular cancer right now. I know testicular cancer will continue to take my patients for years to come. And there is nothing harder, than losing a patient to testicular cancer.
The cure rate is supposed to be greater than ninety percent... These are young men. Some are escorted by their parents. Some have wives, partners and children of their own. Some aspire to have families of their own. Some haven’t even given a family of their own a thought. They love football, golf, and their friends. Beer, bowling, pizza and music. They are our brothers, fathers, sons and friends. Our co-workers and students. They are the guy next door, the HVAC repairman, and the state’s attorney. They are incredibly smart, funny, awkward and nervous. They have the same dreams, fears, sense of invincibility and insecurities that all young men possess. And the reaction is the same when we come to the realization that all options have been exhausted. They are drained from months or years of battling an enemy they never saw coming, they never provoked, they never really had a chance against. But they fought. Their families and loved ones fought. They rode a rollercoaster of chemotherapy, CT scans and blood work. Through deep hope and times of despair they fought and are willing to fight more. They are always scared of what comes next, but not death. They are scared they let their families down. That it was their failure that let the disease win. That their children will be scarred by their departure, that their friends will forget them.
Although I never met Jordan Jones, I saw a young man and his family make this journey with incredible courage, strength and spirit in the face of insurmountable odds. They made their life accessible to all of us; to raise awareness, to help those traveling a similar journey, and to prevent this from happening to others.
I know I will take many more patients through the testicular cancer journey. Like Jordan, I know many of them will face incredible challenges – some physical, some psychological, and many emotional. I will continue to work to improve our cure rates and minimize our side effects – to reduce the impact of those challenges. And for those facing this disease, I will continue to help them through their challenges and strive for the commitment, empathy, serenity and wisdom with which Jordan faced his disease. Without ever meeting him, Jordan inspired me and continues to inspire me. That is who Jordan Jones is to me and that is the legacy he will leave behind.
Dr. Phillip M Pierorazio, M.D.