Greensboro resident Chase Jones was in his freshman year at UNC when he began having headaches, nausea, and other unusual symptoms. After several visits to UNC Student Health, a CT was ordered, and he learned on October 4, 2006 that he had a central nervous system tumor called germinoma, a type of germ cell.
“I was glad for the diagnosis,” he remembers, “because I finally had a name for what was wrong with me.” Jones underwent a surgical biopsy followed by four months of chemotherapy that included several 3-5 day hospital stays at N.C Children’s Hospital. His physician, Dr. Stuart Gold, is chief of pediatric oncology and program leader for UNC Lineberger’s pediatric oncology program.
He returned to school for spring semester 2007 to continue his studies as a business administration major. He joined the UNC men’s baseball team and now serves as bullpen catcher and team outreach leader.
“I realized that our team was not doing enough outreach in the community, so we developed this fundraiser for UNC Lineberger and N.C. Children’s Hospital called BaseBald for the Cure. The event features head shaving of baseball team members, coaches and staff for each $100.00 raised.
Of his experience with cancer, Chase says,” It’s the best blessing I could ever have. It’s given me a whole new outlook on life. A resignified faith, tremendous support from my Tar Heel family, amazing staff at N.C. Children’s Hospital.
My experience has given me a platform to reach out to other patients as someone who has been there. When you’re 18 years old and diagnosed with cancer, there aren’t many people to relate to. Wonderful to have parents, family, physicians, but you want to talk to someone who has been through this. Having cancer transcends barriers to friendship. You can relate directly to a patient and tell them it will be okay.”
Chase offers this advice to someone newly diagnosed with cancer. “I came to UNC and got the best care. That’s what I’d tell anyone with a cancer diagnosis. Once you’ve finished your treatment, you know can face pretty much anything.”
Read the latest on Chase – the Baseball America blog featured him in its January 12, 2012 post.