The life and death of Jack Fleming through his battle with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain cancer as told by his father, Ken.
This is the story of a very brave young man. I was with him when he took his first breath and I was with him when he took his last. One was a moment of exquisite pleasure and the other was a moment of unimaginable pain. He gave life, and particularly the last two years struggling with terminal brain cancer, his best shot. He never stopped smiling; never gave up; never said no more. He was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain cancer on a cold, wet and wintry 8 July 2016. He was given 12 months to live. We got 22 months. In December 2017 we found out that none of the treatments were working and he was unlikely to live much longer. On 28 March 2018, we were told it was all over. He died at 1.45 pm on 15 April 2018. I promised him I would write a book. I kept my promise. — Ken Fleming - JACK EVAN FLEMING 25 November 1996 – 15 April 2018 RIP
Praise for Jack's Story
“Jack’s Story is gripping and confronting. Well done for having the courage to write it and get it out there in the public space. I'm sure many other families and health professionals will benefit from reading this book. It was a real tribute to Jack...and also demonstrated you're didn't leave a stone unturned in trying to find a solution to this aggressive cancer.” Dr Nick Cooling
“Thank you for sharing Jack’s Story. I’m deeply sorry to hear about your son’s journey with cancer. As you know glioblastoma cancer has touched my life and those that I love dearly. I can only imagine how difficult this process is for you and your family. It sounds like Jack was surrounded with support and indeed possessed courage at its best. I know that the grieving process never quite ends, but in due time, the thought of your son will bring a smile to your lips sooner than a tear to your eye. Our sons gave us so much more than they knew, so much for us to cherish. Our memories of them will always be with us. Please know that Jill and I will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. We’re in this with you. God Bless you.” Joseph R. Biden. Jr.
“I would like to give my condolences to your family as no family should have to go through what your family endured. Taking the pain from your son’s story and turning it into a moving and beautifully honest book takes a lot of courage. I appreciate the bravery it took to write this book about what it is really like inside a life with glioblastoma multiforme.” Senator John McCain
“I read Jack’s story in one night …couldn’t put it down … and despite knowing how it all ended, I was willing there to be a twist and turn on each page that would see a miracle happen. What a truly incredible story of hope, love, courage and ultimate tragedy.” Katie Murray
“I’m so sorry that despite all the expert advice and treatment he received that no more could be done to save him. It is stories like these, and patients like Jack, that drive us to continue our work and research and clinical trials to try to find new and better treatments to counter this awful disease. Let’s hope we can make some more break throughs in memory of all the children and young adults like Jack.” Dr David Ziegler
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About the Author
Ken always thought that there would come a time when he would retire and write a book - one with a happy ending. Jack's Story doesn't have a happy ending, but Ken told Jack he would save his life and write a book and the book is the only promise that survived. After he died, Ken sat in Jack's room with the door shut, a bottle of whisky and a box of tissues, and his fingers started to tap the keys - tap, tap, tap tapppppppppppp!!! Over three days of very painful reminisces and emotional depths only parents that have lost children can understand, a draft manuscript evolved. Ken's singular purpose and misplaced ideology was to create something that in some miraculous way could save a life and correct an imbalance in the universe created by Jack's death. He knew it was nutty as he is not driven by religious or spiritual ideologies, but a loss that is unrequited and that can only be made good if another death could be avoided. How that happens he had no idea but, after a box of tissues and a bottle of whisky, it seemed to make sense. Ken's wife, Dianne, hasn't read the book and probably never will. She has said she lived through it and can't live through it again.
Table of Contents
In the middle of the beginning
The end of the beginning
Dedications and acknowledgements
Senator John McCain
Looking for you