Here's an update on some podcast guests Nancy and Alex Berry, whose son Jake was diagnosed with testicular cancer at 16.
Cancer research provided the Berry family with the cure needed to save Jake.
Until 1974, overall survival rates for testicular cancer were low; the survival rate for metastatic testicular cancer was only 5 percent. When Jake - an otherwise healthy, high school athlete - received his surprising diagnosis in 2018, years of research and discovery had made metastatic and non-metastatic testicular cancer treatable for 80 percent and 98 percent of patients, respectively. Those same survival rates persist today.
Cancer Affects the Whole Family
With family by his side, Jake endured several rounds of chemotherapy. Losing his hair and missing school were hard on him, and his parents felt the weight of his diagnosis, too.
“When one person in the family gets cancer, the whole family gets cancer. The stress and anxiety of waiting for every test result and CT scan puts everyone on edge,” says Nancy. “I wish I could give every cancer patient the news that their cancer was gone. That is why our family believes so strongly in donating to cancer research – without the research, we will not be able to develop the cures to save more lives.”
Cancer Research Saves Lives™
This holiday season, Jake – now a baseball player at the University of Virginia – and his family will be traveling to California to spend time with loved ones.
“Without this research, Jake would likely not be alive today,” says Nancy. “The best gift our family has ever been given is Jake being declared cancer free.”
The Berrys are Conquer Cancer donors who supported the Brigid Leventhal Special Merit Award for outstanding researchers in pediatric oncology, in addition to other areas of research like survivorship and head and neck cancer.
“Our son is now a thriving 20-year-old college athlete. If I could tell donors anything, it is how completely grateful our family is that Jake's cancer could be cured,” says Nancy. “It is only through donations that research is possible. We need to support physicians and scientists to work toward cures for all cancers."