4 Diamonds teen discusses adventure to ringing the bell

Marcus Josey had a apparently best high college life. because the beginning quarterback of his faculty's football team, a basketball participant and, in his words, a "relatively prevalent kid," his existence wasn't lots distinct from hundreds of other high faculty students across the united states.

All that changed on April 10, 2015, when Josey, then a 17-yr-ancient high college junior, turned into diagnosed with leukemia.

Flash ahead three years later, and Josey, now 20, comprehensive his leukemia medicine just over a month ago. He credited his healing to four Diamonds and the Penn State children's hospital.


The Marcus Josey family unit speaks on stage all the way through household hour at Penn State THON 2017 on the Bryce Jordan core on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2017.

Joe DiDomenico

"during this total adventure, 4 Diamonds has been a life saver," Josey said. "I actually don't recognize what issues would were like with out 4 Diamonds and that i really can't even imagine going through this while not having the help that we did from 4 Diamonds and everybody connected to that corporation."

Josey is considered one of over four,000 little ones who have obtained advice from 4 Diamonds.

On Aug. 16, Josey rang the ceremonial bell at Penn State toddlers's clinic, officially marking the conclusion of his medicine. He described the moment as "bittersweet" — it marked the end of his medicine, yet it became additionally a reminder of the difficult years he spent combating melanoma.

whereas his treatment is over, cancer "in no way stops and doesn't go away," Josey mentioned.

"Of path ringing the bell became a pretty good feeling and a reduction, and it brought pleasure to me and my family unit, but it surely become additionally bittersweet within the incontrovertible fact that I nevertheless needed to move through everything that I went through," Josey mentioned. "I nevertheless do have long-lasting side results so that you can have an effect on me for the rest of my lifestyles, and that i lost a lot of people that I met during my adventure."

Josey's event with cancer all started his junior yr of excessive college, when he began experiencing a few signs — things he notion were "bizarre." He had pains in his again and jaw, changed into always drained and experienced nosebleeds that could ultimate three to four hours. docs misdiagnosed Josey several instances, and didn't join the indicators to each and every other.

Josey, who's from York, Pennsylvania, did not suspect he had cancer until he attended a faculty assembly held via the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. right through the assembly, they mentioned the symptoms of leukemia, lots of which Josey had.

Josey texted his fogeys and informed them he notion he had leukemia, after which his nose started to bleed. His fogeys took him to the medical institution, the place he turned into clinically determined.

He become then referred to Hershey scientific middle. earlier than his analysis, Josey mentioned he didn't know lots about 4 Diamonds. whereas he knew what THON become, he only had a simple talents of the dance marathon.

Josey's analysis flipped his lifestyles the other way up. He completed his senior yr of excessive school at home or within the sanatorium. He could now not play sports, and neglected out on the social points of his senior yr.

As he went via all of those adjustments, youngsters, his neighborhood acted as a "big help device."

"appropriate after I received clinically determined, the complete community rallied round me," Josey observed. "no longer simply my school, but the entire schools around me. My complete county changed into assisting me."

whereas his neighborhood acted as his first motivator, Josey found further motivation in gazing the younger babies within the hospital deal with their own melanoma.

"i used to be watching them move through things and tackle it super neatly," Josey pointed out. "The younger kids within the hospital definitely inspired me to get via this and are available out powerful."

Josey's four Diamonds social worker, Greg Baiocchi , described Josey as an "concept" as a result of pediatric melanoma will also be more difficult for a teen to take care of "bodily and emotionally."

"[Josey] has shown different youngsters and families that you have to still reside lifestyles and have desires," Baiocchi noted by means of e-mail. "Marcus had to readjust his goals, however he's relocating forward one step at a time. Marcus has also been capable of pay it ahead via supporting fundraising efforts by means of 4 Diamonds. he is additionally an suggestion to group of workers and the neighborhood he lives in by using his words and actions."


The Marcus Josey household watches Marcus Josey speak all the way through family hour at Penn State THON 2017 on the Bryce Jordan middle on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017.

Antonella Crescimbeni

Baiocchi spoke of Josey encompasses the virtues 4 Diamonds is constructed on — courage, wisdom, honesty and power.

"[Josey's] honesty about how his sickness has affected him and changed his life is evident in his day by day interactions," Baiocchi observed. "His knowledge is much past the years of most younger adults. he's nevertheless a humble young grownup and may now not believe he is that brave however, like every of our youngsters, he is. Marcus has had the power essential to face his challenge with leukemia."

Baiocchi added that he believes Josey will continue to grow from his melanoma event.

at the moment, Josey is a junior at Gettysburg college researching biology. Technically, he's not cancer-free and will not be considered cancer-free unless five years after his remaining medicine, as is widely wide-spread with leukemia patients.

For the subsequent yr, he will seek advice from the hospital as soon as a month to do blood work and acquire antibodies.

Josey at first decided to attend Gettysburg college since the college recruited him to play football. despite the fact, as a result of a bone disorder he developed due to his chemotherapy, he couldn't play.

Going to school become in the beginning a "complicated" transition, as he turned into on his personal and needed to learn how to cope with himself. Josey mentioned that the transition to college itself is tricky, and his melanoma best added to that difficulty.

all the way through iciness break of his freshman 12 months, Josey grew to become very sick, and medical doctors noted he may now not make it out of the health facility. youngsters, he recovered and become lower back in school for his 2d semester.

"There have basically been lots of hardships via it, but I additionally realized lots about how I could push myself and what my limits are," Josey talked about.

while Josey pointed out he never felt down or by myself within the beginning degrees of his remedy as a result of the titanic volume of guide he got, he skilled melancholy and survivor's guilt in the later degrees of his restoration procedure. via every little thing he has skilled, Josey spoke of he realized how his attitude might affect him each bodily and mentally.

"Having a good attitude makes the entire difference in your healing and outlook on existence," he pointed out. "by no means underestimate the vigour of your intellect."

He added that his family, pals, lady friend, 4 Diamonds and the Penn State Hershey medical center have all helped him via his journey.

furthermore, Josey talked about his THON org, Penn State Mont Alto, also offered a lot of assist to him and his family. The org frolicked setting up relationships with Josey and his family unit, accompanying them to soccer tailgates at Gettysburg faculty.

Donna Rhodes , the Penn State Mont Alto THON org adviser, talked about Marcus' story, and stories love it, amaze her.

"Marcus' story is certainly particular as a result of we noticed someone go through a experience, someone our college students could relate to because they are across the same age," Rhodes observed. "He's like family unit and a chum to our college students."


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