Honoring Mom’s Legacy

EP 130 – Jamie Jones

[00:00:00] Adam Walker: This program is supported by Amgen. Amgen strives to serve patients by transforming the promise of science and biotechnology into therapies for patients with serious illnesses, learn more@amgen.com.

[00:00:20] Adam Walker: From Susan G Komen, this is real pink, a podcast exploring real stories, struggles, and triumphs related to breast cancer. We’re taking the conversation from the doctor’s office to your living room. There are many ways to get involved and be a part of the breast cancer. Through research, community work or advocacy effort, all of these can be personally rewarding in help others.

[00:00:41] Adam Walker: Today’s guests lost her mother to metastatic breast cancer in 2017. In this motivated her to make a major shift in her life. She now dedicates her work to finding the cures for breast cancer and advocating on behalf of the breast cancer. Here today to share her family story and how she is passionate about carrying on her mother’s legacy is Jamie Jones. . Welcome to the show. Hi, thanks

[00:01:06] Jamie Jones: so much for having me.

[00:01:08] Adam Walker: Well, I love what you’re doing. Love your passion. And so let’s just jump right in and start with your mother’s breast cancer journey. Can you walk us through that and how you got involved with it?

[00:01:22] Jamie Jones: Yeah. Uh, my mom was diagnosed back in May, 2014, and unfortunately, when she was diagnosed, it was stage four metastatic breast cancer.

[00:01:33] Jamie Jones: Um, she had never missed a mammogram in 30 years. But unfortunately she had lobular carcinoma, which is a little bit harder to detect it, sometimes mimics dense breast tissue. Um, so she was diagnosed and, uh, unfortunately we did lose her in October of 2017. Um, but just everything that I’ve learned along the way led me to want to stay involved, even though we lost her and just kind of pay it forward to other people.

[00:02:05] Adam Walker: I love that. I love that. Thank you for sharing that. I’m certainly sorry for your loss. Uh, I’d love to hear more about who your mom was as a person and what your relationship was like.

[00:02:18] Jamie Jones: Uh, my mom was amazing, you know, and I know a lot of people like to say their mom’s amazing, but, um, she really was, she was such a generous person.

[00:02:27] Jamie Jones: She was also strong at the same time. So, uh, she was, uh, an educator. She was a professor at the local community college here in Ohio and was actually the chief negotiator of the union. So she, she was a tough lady and had a heart full of gold.

[00:02:46] Adam Walker: Wow. You’d have to be tough for that job. I think that’s a, that’s kind of fantastic.

[00:02:51] Adam Walker: Yeah.

[00:02:52] Jamie Jones: She, she would call herself a tough old broad. She definitely was a strong woman.

[00:02:58] Adam Walker: Oh man. Well, that does, she sounds amazing. So, so I understand, you know, that you switched careers. Tell me about that. And why was that so important for you to take that?

[00:03:10] Jamie Jones: Yeah, I did, you know, I was a stay at home mom for 10 years and, uh, ended up getting a divorce and was trying to figure out if I wanted to go back to what I was doing prior to having children, which was sales and it just didn’t feel right.

[00:03:25] Jamie Jones: So I had learned about their cancer registry, uh, which is, you know, how they survey everything from, you know, the types of cancer to the types of treatment to see what’s working, uh, you know, comes out with the, the first line of treatment, the standard of care. And I thought that that was definitely right up my alley, a way to still stay involved.

[00:03:49] Jamie Jones: Um, you know, and, and it also be my career.

[00:03:53] Adam Walker: Mm, I love that. I love that. Okay. So, uh, so what have you discovered about breast cancer that you didn’t know about?

[00:04:03] Jamie Jones: Well, when my mom was originally diagnosed, I had no idea that there was no cure for stage four breast cancer. So unlike some other cancers where there is a cure for stage four, unfortunately, breast cancer is treatable, but not curable.

[00:04:20] Jamie Jones: So, you know, that was obviously a rude awakening for me at that point. But I also learned that where I’m at in Ohio, where we have these amazing, uh, you know, resources with the Cleveland clinic or university hospitals, we still in Ohio have a mortality. Right. Uh, we’re eighth in the country, which is not good.

[00:04:41] Jamie Jones: When I first got involved, it was fourth. So, you know, we’re headed in the right direction, but, uh, I really have seen the need to help with the, uh, underprivileged and underserved communities to advocate for, for everyone.

[00:04:56] Adam Walker: Hmm. Yeah. I love that. And, and we’ve talked about that on this show before. It’s so important to advocate for those communities.

[00:05:02] Adam Walker: And so, so what are some ways that you’ve been able to advocate and raise awareness for breast cancer and what are some things that our listeners might be able to do as well?

[00:05:13] Jamie Jones: You know, Susan G Komen has been an amazing resource. I have coached paired the more than pink walk, uh, for the third year, this year.

[00:05:23] Jamie Jones: And prior to that with co-chair at the race for the cure. And, uh, Coleman also has an amazing public policy unit now that you can get involved with. I actually am an advocacy ambassador for that as well. And they just, they’re a great resource. They have so much knowledge, you know, as far as what’s going on in your local community, whether it be, you know, just like I said, on a local level, on a state level, on the federal level, there’s, there’s a lot of ways that you can get involved.

[00:05:54] Adam Walker: Mm. Yeah. I love that. And what’s the, like, what’s the first step for somebody that wants to get involved. They’re listening right now that maybe they’re at their computer or they’ve got their smartphone. What’s step one for them.

[00:06:06] Jamie Jones: I would say to go to the Susan G Komen website, there’s a public policy area there that you can find out even what’s going on.

[00:06:16] Jamie Jones: Like I said locally and see if it’s something that you’re able to get involved. Hm.

[00:06:22] Adam Walker: I love that. And so, and, uh, and forgive me, Jamie, this isn’t a part of our scripted questions, but I just want to ask you anyway, like a lot of people I’ve talked to have talked about the community that Komen is. Right. Um, and, and so, you know, tell me about that experience on the advocacy side.

[00:06:41] Adam Walker: Is there a community of people that are all involved in advocacy and what’s that like?

[00:06:46] Jamie Jones: Yeah, there is, there’s a huge community. You know, whether it be people who are coast survivors like myself, they may be survivors. They may just know, obviously that breast cancer is still a major issue and it really does feel like a big family.

[00:07:03] Jamie Jones: Everybody is in. For the same cause the same reason. And we’re all just trying to find the cure. I have a daughter, so obviously this is more important to me, you know, even because of that, I don’t want her to have to go through the same thing that I went through. And, uh, Susan G Komen has really just felt like a big family.

[00:07:27] Adam Walker: I love that. I mean, and that’s, I guess that’s really why I wanted to ask that question is I’ve heard so many guests talk about how Komen is this wonderful community, this large family. So in my mind, in many ways, it’s a way to give back. It’s a way to meet a need and solve a huge problem, and really a way to be a part of a, of a great community.

[00:07:45] Adam Walker: I mean, has that, I guess that’s been your experience.

[00:07:48] Jamie Jones: Yeah, that’s definitely been my experience. Like I said, for me, I would love to just be able to pay it forward. You know, Coleman did so much for me when my mom was first diagnosed and I just want to be able to help to pass on that information and that knowledge to other people who may be going through the same thing right now as well.

[00:08:09] Adam Walker: Yeah. I love that. I love that. All the listeners out there. If you want to get involved, start at the website, komen.org. We would love to have you get involved on the advocacy side or, or really anywhere else that you’re interested, but a butt plug in. It’s a great community. And we’d love to have you, uh, Jamie, you have any final thoughts you’d like to share with us.

[00:08:30] Jamie Jones: Uh, no, I just want to say again, like you were just mentioning, please go ahead and check out the website, you know, get involved in some way, shape or form, whether that’s, uh, you know, getting involved with the public policy or, or just coming out and supporting your local more than pink walk or race.

[00:08:51] Adam Walker: That’s right. Get involved today. Involved today. We’d love to have you thanks to Amgen for supporting this podcast. To learn more about Amgen’s mission, to serve patients with a cutting edge science-based approach, follow Amgen biotech on Instagram and Facebook.

[00:09:18] Adam Walker: Thanks for listening to real pink, a weekly podcast by Susan G Komen for more episodes, visit real pink.com and.org for more on breast cancer. Visit komen.org. Make sure to check out at Susan G Komen on social media. I’m your host, Adam, you can find me on Twitter at AGA Walker or my blog, Adam J walker.com.