Kellan had a “positive posse” of friends while he was treated for cancer during college. Here are some ways that close friends can help.
During my illness/treatments I received a multitude of encouraging cards, e-mails, various social media messages and a handful of gift cards. While all of these meant the world to me and I know were very heartfelt, in retrospect, I think the texts and calls that helped me the most were the ones that came from a very different place and for an entirely different reason.
The letter I wished I had received is a collaboration and an extension of the letters, texts, calls, etc, I have received from my “positive posse” as I like to call them. They are the people who I allowed in my inner circle from the beginning:
I spoke with your mom and dad today and they shared with me what you’re dealing with. Dude, you know I am here for you for anything you may need or want to talk about, but I know you’re surrounded by your family and they are there for most of your needs as far as your illness and recovery go. Here are a few things I want you to remember from day one through however- long-it-takes to get through your treatment:
We have things to do, Bro.
Don’t forget that we are going on a cruise next summer. Remember we discussed snorkeling and deep-sea fishing?…Oh, and don’t forget looking for the hot girls in bikinis!
We are still getting that apartment together while we finish up our college degrees. We will have our annual Fantasy Football draft and between the two of us, I know we will win. I mean, really?…who knows sports like we do?
I’m going to call and talk about the Reds and the Cats and you can discuss bunt coverages and infield practices that you are having while coaching that baseball team.
We will get together with your uncle to watch ballgames as we always do. I always thought it was strange watching games with my old high school baseball coach, but man, does he know the game! You’re going to be just as good a coach as he ever was. I love the way we always make fun of or yell at the refs while watching those games and always say we could’ve made the play if it was us.
I can’t wait to get out again this summer and just ride around. Remember when we went to Arby’s drive-thru and you accidentally peeled out of the parking lot? Man, I think we should go do that again!!
I guess what I want you to know with this letter is that, Yes, you have this issue right now, but I know you’re going to do what you have to do to get through it. I have no doubt that if anyone on God’s green earth can do it, you can.
I am just going to treat you like I always did. I’m not going to call and ask about your chemo or your treatments. I’m going to call and talk about my nephew or your new girlfriend. I’m not going to come by with get-well cards, I’m going to bring Taco Bell.
You are the same crazy, hysterical Kellan Jones to me and you’re stuck with the same old me. I’m here whenever you want to talk about whatever you want to talk about, but that will have to come from you. All you have to do is call. Otherwise, we’re going to talk about stuff like that crazy girl I dated that one summer and you warned me about. (You were right, by the way.) Just normal everyday stuff.
Take care and I will see you soon. Do you want mild or hot sauce with your chicken quesadilla?
Your best bro
I guess what I want others to know is that I am not my illness. I am still Kellan. I still want to talk about normal things and be treated normally.
I get it that I have cancer and that I need the treatments, and I’m far from in denial, believe me. I just also need people to know that sometimes I just want to be treated and talked to normally, just like they always did. I’m just a 21 year old college student….Just Kellan.
Kellan is currently attending Eastern Kentucky University with a major in Middle Grade Education with an emphasis in English and Social Studies. He helps coach baseball at his local high school, Pulaski County High School, after playing for 5 years. This will be his 4th year as an assistant coach. Kellan has loved baseball since he was a little kid and sees it in his future for the rest of his life.
Kellan won second place in the 2016 Andre Sobel Award.
A message from Kellan:
I am 22 years old and basically I’m just a normal guy. I love hanging out with friends, being at the ball field, and spending time with family. I was 20 when I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and after 30 days of radiation and 51 chemotherapy treatments, I am in remission and feeling great. I have lots of inspirations: to name a few; my mother, father, and brother are three of the strongest people I know. My uncle Kent has always been one of my role models and he’s helped me tremendously through this and my “positive posse” circle of best friends, Taylor, Taylor, Nick, and Justin who always stuck by my side through everything. I really don’t know what I would have done without them any of them. Plus the hundreds of calls/texts/letters gave me encouragement and inspiration and I can’t forget all the children I saw fighting for their lives in Kentucky Children’s Hospital. They are the true warriors. I am extremely grateful to the Andre Sobel Foundation and all that they do!