Aug 21, 2012|
Jose, now 18-years-old, was diagnosed with leukemia at 11. He has relapsed three times and because of that he and his family moved from Puerto Rico so he could be treated at Dana-Farber. He discusses how tough it was for him dealing with the relapses and that it has been really devastating. Despite all the setbacks, he says he will beat cancer. Jose finished 11th grade with straight A’s and will be a senior at Brookline High in the fall with a passion for biology and math. Jose is joined by his mother, Monica, and she talks about how strong her son has been during this very difficult time.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
A new friend we just made a couple of minutes ago. The name is Jose Vasquez. I wanna get this right Velasco. Basket very nice holiday just finished eleventh grade and got straight -- congratulations on this and his lovely mom Monica joins us as well tell us a little bit about your story and looking at all the things that happened field. The good news is again you're doing well now guess is this has been a long road for you young man has it not yes -- seven years seven years seven years locked tells us tells what happened how to how are all begin when I. The word that you were arguing for a long haul. Well that was a lemon and I was big tennis player movement and I started having this eighteen back pain. And most doctors -- that I pulled some thing. So those late because just Wear down and go to chiropractors. Gets to stay late -- play much tennis yeah. But then when the -- got much worse and I hadn't been playing any tennis. So we went to hospital and Puerto Rico. And they told us that this was an oncology procedures. And that I had some -- some sort of cancer but they don't like three weeks to figure out which one. And apparently I had halo which is -- simple message leukemia. There which usually occurs and then small smaller children but this can happen and teens and -- young. Men. Now at eleven years of age and treated Nolan but oncology procedure was how much this did you grasp when -- eleven years of age. Not very much not my mom told me that the first thing asked was to my gonna die and she said -- school. Posts and then as -- it okay it's going to be fine for us. -- a little more out of the demand you can just say no they're not gonna die and -- -- some day when you're like 85 guys in the year mentally. The nets Indiana like that's it is that not kill me too -- not promote. The -- what is your treatment and system. Says two years of chemo affect just two years yes that first time -- and they finish. Very late let's say days. And but -- like six months later I relapsed comes just after the bone marrow transplant know this before for the Americans then nine then I had -- -- -- transplant. And -- Three months after my full recovery of those bone marrow transplant. I mean just again. And we had no other option but to come to that Dana Farber and Jimmy Fund to get a new. She and her friend again commitment. When you relapse do you do this it. More devastating the first time you find out about it mom I mean when you relapse do you ever. Say that you know where we're never going to be this thing that you always have hope. I. I always have you know everything is always okay regardless of the outcome. Just wanted to do everything. And how well when did you come up here hole where you says fifteen. I think -- what what do you mean you would in Boston when and then from Jimmy Fund -- mean you. I had first iPhone and like. Consolation. -- They went there. Because they and they'd like to be -- -- but then they started laying. Actually working with me and I got started to know them better. And -- we began to be part of my family -- everytime I go there's like KG meaning how are you this it's nice to meet you even grave. And they play with me they give me a nice. And it's. -- say it's just great. Now you've been a couple of clinical trials right. Doctor Silberman was one of the clinical trials and and where was that is long road was after your second relapse. Day yes that was the protocols to get me. To get rid of the cancer you can and get me ready for the bone marrow transplant -- and and you're still receiving you know every two weeks now yes columns that -- Until we get some positive results forward my GBH which is not cancer. It's not cancer but it's like a side effect some -- bone marrow transplant. I'm not too long ago you wouldn't have walked in here -- up this microphone and stood here and talk in front of -- you were you were sort of relegated immune wheelchair yet. It's what happened with the latest. Started school. And therefore is imminent and that log in and we get some independents. And I also work on my -- PG movies so I got strung out there. -- we wheelchair. Good good and -- years some. So you relapsed several times you're getting people all the time and then got to decide Gibson will cheer for your year and a half or so he ever say why I mean you feel sorry for yourself -- Fans. And yeah you know exclude that's normal to feel sorry for you so much. You can you definitely get over it and look ahead of you and towards the future and you say leg. You have to get better because it like this and. A little before you get any stronger can I get killed and tennis courts I think they're good handling right now. You just gotta walk -- fine let's go let's go and now you're you plan again you know I wish I could. As soon as they get it is strong enough -- I assume that's when he goals to get back on the tennis court. They're gonna be a senior Brookline high right -- you straight days is a junior yes. See you talked about looking toward the future you wanna go to college and -- and what you -- studies which will -- -- always -- study when he -- all. I know -- school math and biology all the fun we ought to bring any act here come over brandy yes. But I don't love unless you're in math and well he's fun yes just the sound quality is definitely. Glad towards college I don't think I'm gonna be like a doctor anything. Within -- renowned thing in liberalized some hot. You may -- some of this signing. Like the games and technology. Well did admit you like math and biology yeah would you consider -- -- research scientist at the Dana Farber and -- know not too much hardware. It's very good division continues success thankfully much JVV joining us here.