Jessica Cox has had an incredibly difficult year, not only did she lose her brother, but she was also diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. APL was once known as the “seven-day cancer” because patients would often have fatal hemorrhages within a week of symptoms emerging. But new treatments have been developed, and if treated early there’s is now a cure rate of around 80%
This is Jessica’s story:
On the morning of his daughter’s wedding, Jessica’s older brother, John, died unexpectedly of a heart attack. They were 13 years apart, but they shared the same birthday and were best friends. That night, Jessica felt as though her body were shutting down. She had a severe headache, body chills, and could not get warm.
She assumed she was experiencing an unusual physical manifestation of grief from her brother’s death, but when she woke up in the morning she discovered about 20 dark bruises on the back of her calves. She sought treatment at an urgent care the next day. With confidence and faith, she went through a harrowing two and half weeks of bruises, bleeding, weakness, and pain until she went to an emergency room and was ultimately transferred to the Huntsman Cancer Institute and received her diagnosis. She spent 40 days at the Huntsman and was not allowed to see her three children (ages 1, 4, and 6) in that time.
Jessica believes it was her brother’s unexpected death that shocked her body into revealing the symptoms of leukemia. As a result, she was able to seek the medical care that she needs to save her life.
Jessica is responding well to the treatments, but she has another two years of oral chemotherapy ahead of her. Despite severe side effects from the chemo, she has returned to work part time at American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork where she is teaching children to read. She has even begun classes through BYU-Idaho’s Pathways program to earn a degree in elementary education to pursue her love of teaching children. She is using her recovery from cancer as a new lease on life to be here to raise her three children and continue to serve and teach others.
Jessica’s medical bills are incredibly high and will be for years to come as she continues her chemotherapy to hopefully reach a full cure. A GoFundMe campaign for her with the hope of helping her family pay for her treatment and allow her to focus on healing, family, and her future. You can make a donation here.
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