The Cancer Warrior Unleashed
For Jason Smith it all started back in
2010 with a funny-looking mole. “For years I
ignored it. I went to the doctor one day and he
said let’s take a look at this.”
Following a biopsy, Jason received a call
from his doctor. “He told me I had melanoma.
I thought skin cancer was no big deal.” In the
end, it turned out to be Stage 2 melanoma. He
embarked on his first immunotherapy trial,
which had mixed results.
A runner’s nightmare
A few years later, there was a setback. The
cancer had spread to Jason’s right lung.
His first reaction was: “Why my lung? As a
runner you develop a fairly close connection to
your heart and lungs and I felt vulnerable.”
There was a flurry of appointments at the
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and then
Jason had surgery to remove part of his
lung. “It all happened very quickly, everyone
The recovery from lung surgery was tough.
Jason could barely walk to the end of his
driveway. He was given breathing exercises
and he was also told to go for daily walks. “I
would walk to the neighbour’s driveway and
the next day I would go two driveways down.
Every day I started getting stronger.”
The odds are changing
In 2016, Jason embarked on his second
immunotherapy clinical trial. He now has two
small tumors in his left lung and is being treated
with a different immunotherapy drug. “Both
tumors have shrunk as of the last CT scan and
that’s amazing.” One of his tumors is 50% smaller,
the other has shrunk by 30%.
“This drug is showing my body how to beat the
cancer,” he says.
“I go to work every day, I play with my kids
every night, and I’m still running.”
This past April, Jason ran the Boston
Marathon while he was in the middle of
treatment. “It was a fairly emotional experience
for me. I was thinking what an absolute miracle
it is that we’ve got this treatment that seems to be
working and allowing me to get on with my life.”
A Drug that
Body how to
I was thinking what an
absolute miracle it is that
we’ve got this treatment
that seems to be working
and allowing me to get
on with my life.”
Jason’s story in his own words:www.thepmcf.ca/JasonStory