Lean On Each Other: Ronald’s Story

by Courtney Battaglia

Ronald Jackson
Ronald Jackson

Ronald Jackson is a multiple myeloma patient currently in treatment for this diagnosis. Through Livestrong Navigation, Mr. Jackson has found new strength and hope and wants to spread his message. This is his story.

The Initial Diagnosis

“I worked for the city of Houston for 23 years as a commercial truck driver. One day, I was going down the road, and another truck hit me. I got into this accident, and my supervisor told me to head to the hospital immediately.

So I did, and I remember sitting in the hospital bed after they had finished all their scans, and the doctor sat down and said, ‘Don’t you know you have cancer?’ I was in shock; all I could do was look at him and say, ‘what?’.

He then said, ‘yes, you have bone cancer, and you have had it for a while now.’. I didn’t even know I had it. So deep down, I feel like this accident was a sign from God. I would have never known if I had not gotten into that accident.

At the same time, I had kidney failure and had to stay in the hospital for three weeks. A little later, I had a heart attack. All these nurses came running into my room to help me, and I had all these cords and wires everywhere.

I had difficulties walking, and I couldn’t even do things like take a shower. I had to have other people take care of me. It was a tough time. You never know what life might bring us each day and where your journey will take you.”

Mr. Jackson in Hospital
Mr. Jackson in the hospital

Reaching Out for Help

“I first found out about the Livestrong Foundation just by typing in Google the type of cancer I had along with the word ‘foundation,’ and the Livestrong Foundation was the one that popped up. So I just took a chance and called.”

When I first called, I didn’t know what to expect. You have high days and low days, and the day I called Livestrong was a low day. I didn’t know who I could turn to or who could help me on my journey.

I took a chance, and I called the Livestrong Foundation. The foundation was nice to me and helped me understand that they would be there for me and help me with everything they could and all their resources. Knowing someone was there to help me made me feel that it would be OK and that we were in this together. It made me feel comfortable, and good to know I was not alone.

Knowing that I was not in this alone kept me motivated and gave me the energy to keep going just by hearing that someone would be with me on this journey. I felt so humbled and appreciative.

It is such a blessing that there is this foundation not just for me but for others looking for hope. We all need hope, and Livestrong gave me hope and the reason to go another minute. Another day.”

Mr. Jackson’s Navigation

“Kim [Castro, Relationship Specialist at Livestrong] has been working with me during my navigation process. She has been an absolute blessing to me. Everything that she says she is going to do, she has done it.

I have had so many medical bills build up from this diagnosis and haven’t been able to work. I also have type 2 diabetes in addition to cancer. Livestrong has helped me in so many ways when I was in need. The Livestrong Foundation kept calling and encouraging me, which gave me more faith.

I am still in my treatment right now, but I still believe and have strength because Livestrong gives me the power and encouragement to make it another day.

Sometimes it gets challenging. I wake up in the morning, and my bone cancer hurts. However, I keep praying. I thank Kim and the Livestrong Foundation for everything they have done.”

Kim Castro, Relationship Specialist at Livestrong

Message for Other Survivors

“All the years, I worked hard, and I never knew this would happen to me, but I didn’t give up, and I am not giving up, and I don’t want anyone else to give up.

If I could speak directly to other cancer survivors, I would tell them not to give up. I will share my journey and tell them how I overcame the hard times.

Keep the hope and keep up the faith. Believe that there are people out there who will help you. You are not there by yourself. We have to keep fighting.

I like to look at things as this is another day, and I am still going at it, so make the best of it, whatever your situation, and know that you are not by yourself. We all need each other and must lean on each other for support, love, or positive words. It’s a struggle, but we got each other, and we’ve got Livestrong to help us.”

Spreading the Hope

“In my low time, Livestrong helped and gave to me when I didn’t know where to turn. When you give to the Livestrong Foundation, you’re not blessing them. You’re blessing all the other people that need help on their journey. It’s not about the individual; we’re all together.

I enjoy going out and helping people. When I am feeling bad, I like to help people. Helping others makes me feel better; it makes me feel stronger. It can be anything. It can be giving them some food and encouraging words.

The Livestrong Foundation helped me. Regardless of how or what you donate, it may seem little in one person’s eyes. To me, though, it is something huge, and it is incredible.”

About Livestrong Navigation

Hearing the words “you have cancer” can be completely disorienting. We’re here to help.

Since 1997, Livestrong has provided cancer navigation services to more than 250,000 survivors and their families, saving them more than $93 million in related healthcare costs. Call (855) 220–7777 to speak to a compassionate cancer navigator today or find support online using our “Help Starts Here” navigation tool.

Lean On Each Other: Ronald’s Story was originally published in Livestrong Voices on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.