As a cancer survivor, Jon has a story that will break your heart and give you hope all at once — and he’s willing to share it with anyone who asks.
At age three, Jon was diagnosed with leukemia. He went through three years of chemotherapy, with no success. In that short time, he was given hundreds of blood products to help him endure the effects of the disease. He remembers long days in the hospital, playing with other children and praying in the chapel with his mother.
The treatment didn’t work, so Jon was given a bone marrow transplant. The transplant, a donation from a stranger, took place on November 13, 1998 – Jon’s father’s 40th birthday. Today, Jon jokes that he and his father celebrate that day together as their birthday/anniversary.
Jon is active about sharing his with the community. He’s been a volunteer with Canadian Blood Services since he was in Grade 8, when he gave out refreshments to donors. These days he meets with community groups and schools to tell them his story, explaining how Canadian Blood Services saved his life and encouraging people to donate. Jon is astonished by the number of Canadians who are eligible to donate but do not. He tells his audience time and again that donating is easier on the donor than the recipient.
In addition to being a vital member of the Speaker’s Bureau, Jon helps organize blood donor clinics at the University of Windsor, where he’s working toward an accounting degree. Jon has taken a difficult past and turned it into a positive future for himself and for Canadian Blood Services. Thank you, Jon.