Jonathan Jasak

At age 21, Jonathan Jasak of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer typically seen in infants and children. He received treatment at the MassGeneral Hospital (MGH) for Children’s Division of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology. This included a nine-hour surgery, six months of chemotherapy, and two months of radiation. 

Now, at age 40, Jonathan is cancer free, and has been for the nearly two decades since his treatment. To give back to MassGeneral, he joined the MassGeneral Pediatric Cancer Team in running the 2019 Boston Marathon. 

“They definitely saved my life. Without them, I probably wouldn’t be alive. They gave me a three to 10 percent chance of living and without them, I probably wouldn’t be here,” said Jasak, as cited by Western Mass News

Excerpt: “Jasak has raised money for cancer before. For 14 years, he and friends have participated in the Pan–Mass Challenge (PMC), a bike–a–thon that raises money for the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute. He said he has raised over $500,000 over the years for the PMC.

Although Jasak has been a runner since high school, he has had to train for the marathon with relatively shorter runs throughout the week and longer runs during the weekend. Jasak said he has been training by himself since he works odd hours, but this weekend he and the MGH team of 75 people ran from Hopkinton to Newton in a dry run for the marathon on April 15.

‘There’s a wide variety of people on the team,’ Jasak said. ‘Parents of patients, survivors, healthcare providers, and a lot of people who just want to give back.’

Read more at local news site The Reminder.