Newlyweds help in the fight against cancer (First Coast News)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — At just 18 years old, a young man right here on the First Coast was given a life threatening diagnosis.
He was told he had Stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
After his diagnosis, Todd Blake says he decided to live everyday to the fullest. And now he’s helping other young adults with cancer do the same.
He started an organization called “Live For Today.” It helps to make dreams come true — from skydiving to hanging at Everbank Field with Jaguars players. Blake says life doesn’t stop after being diagnosed with cancer.
In a small lab within the Mayo clinic you’ll find Maja Blake hard at work learning more about various types of cancer cells.
She tests their growth and reaction to medications.
“I hope that the drugs we’re testing will get into clinical trials and get FDA approved, and will save people,” said Blake.
Helping to save those who suffer from the deadly disease has become her mission. She’s seen firsthand what cancer can do.
Her husband Todd Blake has undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments and has had stem cell transplants. But he has not yet beat the disease.
“It’s scary and there’s a lot of bad times,” said Maja Blake. “We show happiness and like it’s always fun but it’s not.”
“You can’t really set five year goals,” said Todd Blake. “It’s changed my perspective to really just live in the now. And live for the moment.”
He formed a non-profit that encourages other young adults undergoing cancer treatments to continue to live. Through “Live for Today” and its wish granting program called “Life Adventures,” members are able to seize the day and do things like riding in a hot air balloon, taking private flights and rubbing elbows with celebrities. Together the couple plans to tackle cancer on two separate fronts with one ultimate goal.
“Look at all that he’s doing,” said Blake. “He got married, he’s working, he’s in school. It’s possible! It’s possible to live with cancer.”
Blake, who is now 22 years old says he felt there wasn’t many organizations locally to help people in his age group coping with cancer feel normal. According to the National Cancer Institute about 70,000 young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S.
If you would like to help someone’s dream come true or learn more about “Live For Today” visit the website, https://www.live-for-today.org/