At 78 years young, this former teacher continues to enlighten and touch the human spirit.
Jerry Jones considers herself one of the “lucky ones.” As a retired high school science teacher whose classroom was “connected” in 1995, Jerry mastered two skills essential to patient advocacy: identifying the problem and gathering information. Jerry knew that scientific studies are designed to answer specific questions on how to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases and are critical factors in improving methods of health care. She also knew she had a global network of information and communication services at her fingertips and by entering a few select key words she could unleash a knowledgebase packed with the power to overcome ITP.
In November 2010, Jerry had some testing done when she happened to visit a health fair at the local hospital and the results revealed a 64,000 platelet count. Already scheduled to see her family physician in December, she brought the results with her. Concerned with the results, he checked her platelet count the day of her appointment and found that her count had dropped to 54,000. Jerry recalled how he was swift to point out that he didn’t feel that she had cancer but felt she should be seen by a specialist. “I’m sending you to see a hematologist and you are going to see the word ‘oncology’ on the door, but I don’t want you to worry. This is who you need to see,” he said as he reassured Jerry that he didn’t think it was cancer.