IU Health Simon Cancer Center

Father of seven traveled across state lines for cancer treatment

Patient Story

Diagnosed with Diffuse large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), Jonathon “John” Jessup said there was only one hospital where he would seek treatment – even if it was more than three hours away.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes, tfender1@iuhealth.org

He first came to IU Health by way of the emergency room at Methodist Hospital. Jonathon “John” Jessup was diagnosed with diffuse large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) in October 2019.

“It had been suggested earlier in the year that I might have lymphoma but the nature of life kept me from following up,” said Jessup. By the time he was rushed to Methodist Hospital he had a mass the size of a soccer ball on his abdomen and blood clots in his legs that had shot up to his heart and lungs.

“They said to call everyone in. They didn’t think he’d make it,” said his wife Amy. She was a teenager and John was a young adult when they met at a music venue in Evansville, Ind. 27 years ago. They have seven children ages six to 21. Amy taught the children at home – encouraging them to explore the woods and creeks – on their 13-acre homestead outside Bowling Green, Ky.

“We’re very family-oriented,” said Amy. “We love music, concerts, arts, and museums. We do a lot of traveling. We just got back from a four-month trip to the West Coast.” Two of the children are into competitive rock climbing, one is interested in art, and another is trying photography.

Jessup’s job in construction has afforded him the flexibility to travel with his family. He’s worked on several commercial projects including hospitals and casinos.

“I was busy with life and raising kids. I don’t think I wanted to face that I was ill,” said Jessup. “But when I knew how bad it was I talked to a high school friend who was diagnosed a year before me. Even though it’s almost four hours to get here he said I needed to come to IU Health and I need to have Dr. Jose Azar as my oncologist,” said Jessup.

That first trip to Methodist Hospital resulted in a three-week stay at IU Health Simon Cancer Center where he went through two procedures to clear the blood clots. He is now on chemotherapy every three weeks.

“This hospital is everything I heard it would be,” said Jessup. “Everyone has been fantastic and the tumor is shrinking.”

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Cancer

Cancer care includes a variety of treatments, systematic therapies, surgery and clinical trials.

Lymphoma

A disease in which specialized white blood cells that normally fight infection become abnormal and reproduce.