May 1, 2024
Survivor Voices

Survivor Voices: Jonathan, a leukemia survivor

We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to share today’s "Survivor Voices" feature, a leukemia survivor and fitness enthusiast: Jonathan Walker.

“I was experiencing excruciating back pain and was misdiagnosed for months before eventually going to get a second opinion. I remember being rushed to the hospital and getting a bone marrow biopsy where they quickly determined I had leukemia.”

“Being a survivor means I am relentlessly resilient! Medicine has come a long way to be able to get us survivors into remission, but cancer offers an entirely different mental challenge that takes IMMENSE positivity to overcome. My friends, family and loved ones were all critical in my survival and I cannot thank them enough. All my life I wanted to be “normal” or “regular” and after overcoming all that I’ve been through and achieving everything I have thus far, I have cemented the fact that I am anything BUT regular or normal. You never know what you’re capable of until your life's on the line. Spoiler alert We’re capable of SO MUCH more than we think. As a survivor, I serve as a beacon of what can happen if you simply REFUSE to give up!”

“I definitely didn’t have the brightest upbringing and my journey with cancer wasn’t even the biggest character building moment of my life. My mother passed away when I was 10 years old and my resilience began to form from that moment on. My treatment was 3 years long at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital which is RIGHT next to Rutgers University. That’s where I graduated from AFTER initially getting denied AND failing out TWICE due to poor performance whilst I was dealing with depression. At one point I was almost 300 pounds. After one look into a mirror where I didn’t recognize the reflection staring back at me, I declared that I’ve been through too much in life to not be happy with what I saw. My fitness journey started then and here we are now. I am now a fitness enthusiast and coach in addition to  being a leukemia survivor.”

“Tough times never last, tough people do. After going through everything I’ve gone through in life, I firmly believe I am here today to show and guide others to simply overcome. The survival rate of EVERY one of your bad days is 100% so just keep going! I’m not special and we are ALL capable of anything and everything we want out of life.”

We love Jonathan’s optimism and zest for life and all things positivity! Thank you, Jonathan, for sharing your incredible story with our community.

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