Despite a seven year battle with cancer, Jeff Jones is a survivor who has continued the fight – not only for himself – but for others, and all while keeping a positive outlook.
In 2007, the now 53-year-old was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. At the time, doctors informed him that he could possibly lose his right arm to cancer.
“My doctor had warned me 6 ½ years ago that there was a possibility that my arm would have to come off,” he said. “Three years ago, when it came back he told me, ‘If it ever comes back again, we’re not going to talk about it, we’re just going to take your arm off.’”
The unexpected journey gave Jeff a greater appreciation for what cancer patients endure.
So in 2008, the owner and vice president of Admiral Pest Control, a family-owned business in Bellflower, formed Team Admiral to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Bellflower Relay for Life, a global event that helps communities fund raise to fight cancer.
The first year Team Admiral raised $11,000. As of June 15, the team has raised nearly $30,000 this year. Jeff has personally raised more than $12,000. So far, 23 teams and more than 300 participates have raised nearly 100,000 or the campaign’s $120,000 goal.
“Cancer affects so many people and the American Cancer Society does a lot of things behind the scenes people don’t know about,” he said. “This Relay is for a good cause and it’s something that affects everybody.”
Treatments over the years postponed Jeff’s surgery, but last May both his right arm and shoulder were amputated.
“I think I prepared for (the amputation) pretty good because I knew it wouldn’t completely affect my job and my life because of the type of work I do,” he said.
Since the surgery, Jeff said he’s had to adjust to some major changes, he said.
“I had worked on writing left-handed and eating left-handed and tried to get into the groove of being one-handed, but it was so much harder than I thought,” he said. Getting dress was no longer the simple task it had always been, he said.
“It’s so much more work buttoning your shirt,” he said. “You can do a lot of things it just takes you twice as long to do it.”
The husband, father of four and grandfather of two, finds strength through the support of his family.
“I really appreciate my family – especially my wife. They really help and take care of me. More than anything, I’m grateful for my family,” he said. “Overall I think I have a pretty good attitude about the whole process. I just stay focused on the fact that it’s to get rid of cancer and to live. I’ve got to see my son get married and I’ve got one more girl that’s got to get married and I don’t want to miss out on any more grand-kids.”
The Relay for Life will be held 9 a.m., June 30 to July 1, at Bellflower High School, 15301 McNab Ave, Bellflower, CA.
For more information, or to donate go to www.admiralpest.com/relay.