Too many families have been affected by cancer.
Including ours at Jason’s Deli.
As of August 2016 we have raised: $668,000.00 for cancer research!

Why we got involved:
Through 2016, we have partnered with MD Anderson Cancer Center to aid them in their goal to eliminate mortality rates for 8 types of Cancer by 2024.

Jason’s Deli has partnered with MD Anderson Cancer Center to draw a line through cancer. And on Saturday, January 18, we joined them at an event to draw a physical line through cancer in a public art installation.

My Story by Krista

Krista (second from left) and her family.

“I did not have a choice, so I put on a smile and beat cancer.”

As an eleven year old girl, I knew little about cancer, but that changed quickly by October of fifth grade in 2005. My pediatrician noticed a lump on my neck and told my mom that I would need an ultrasound. Diagnostic tests were completed and it was determined that I needed surgery to have a large tumor removed on the right lobe of my thyroid gland. I went onto my dad’s lap and cried because I was scared. My dad held me tight as we scheduled my first neck surgery. My parents received the phone call a few days after surgery, which confirmed the diagnosis of Follicular Thyroid Cancer. I wondered why this happened to me; I felt normal and healthy.

After the tumor was removed, the doctor recommended a second surgery to remove the left lobe of the thyroid. I returned to the hospital just 10 days after the first surgery. With a total thyroidectomy, my parents began to research to locate the hospital and doctor to treat my cancer. I needed to have radioactive iodine (I-131) to remove or blast away any remaining thyroid cancer cells. Follicular Thyroid Cancer (FTC) is a rare disease for a child - only five 11-year-old children are diagnosed with FTC each year and the treatment protocols are not well defined. My parents decided on MD Anderson Cancer Center. We flew to MD Anderson before Christmas to meet with my doctor and schedule my third surgery. Just three days after Christmas, I had my third surgery on my neck. My doctor and the nurses at MD Anderson made me and my parents feel very comfortable with the necessary steps to complete my cancer treatment.

At first we went every month and then every six months for several years. Next, I went for annual check-ups and then bi-annual check-ups. Each time we only stayed for four to five days at Ronald McDonald House. We liked to stay there because the people were very nice, it was clean, some meals were provided and we met some other people who were also getting treatment for cancer. I liked to visit the therapy dogs because I missed my golden doodle named Maggie. On one of my last visits to MD Anderson, a volunteer who brought in dinner asked if I was sick, and I was happy to reply, “I’m not sick anymore.”

I wanted to participate in this campaign because it provided me the opportunity to give back to MD Anderson and bring more awareness to childhood cancer. I’ve come to think of myself as a survivor rather than a victim. Now, 9 years after my initial diagnosis, I’m a college student who thinks much more about my coursework, playing tennis and baking than about cancer. This is my wish for anyone currently enduring cancer and I’m thankful that organizations, like Jason’s Deli, are doing their part to help make this a reality.