Eric Mitchell says he’s had “a terrific life.”
That’s a fairly upbeat angle for a person below hospice care as a result of he has stage 4 lung most cancers.
However he has lots to be ok with this weekend.
The 50-year-old Jacksonville Jaguars fan will probably be heading to New England on Saturday morning carrying treasured cargo: Two tickets to the American Soccer Convention championship sport, which on Sunday will match the Jaguars towards the Patriots with a Tremendous Bowl journey at stake.
Cindy Hamilton of Baptist Well being and Jeannie Blaylock of First Coast Information each reached out to the Jaguars on Mitchell’s behalf. Friday morning, Mitchell picked up his sport tickets, which got here with an autograph from Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone.
Saturday morning Mitchell and his spouse, Terra, with whom he’ll have fun 29 years of marriage on Feb. 24, are flying to New England, the place they may decide up a rental automobile and drive to their resort.
Megan Johnson-Traylor, Robert Smalls and Ken Hussey, buddies from his work at Johnson & Johnson Imaginative and prescient, and one other pal whose title he mentioned he couldn’t share, paid for the airline tickets, the rental automobile and the resort.
Mitchell was recognized in June with lung most cancers and commenced remedy on the Baptist MD Anderson Most cancers Heart.
“By the point we’d met him, his tumor had already unfold to his backbone, and he started remedy with radiation to his again which eased his ache, in addition to chemotherapy,” mentioned Michael Olson, a radiation oncologist at Baptist MD Anderson and chief of service at Baptist Medical Heart Jacksonville and Baptist Medical Heart South. “As a result of he wished to be aggressive, we supplied — and he accepted — radiation and chemotherapy to his lung tumor.”
However a couple of months later, his most cancers appeared in his liver and different bones, Olson mentioned. He then started immunotherapy. By Could 2017 he was positioned again on palliative chemotherapy. He progressed once more over the summer time of 2017, and in the end, by the winter of 2017, determined to cease chemotherapy when unwanted side effects had been turning into too burdensome.
That doesn’t appear to have phased the daddy of 4 and grandfather of six.
“Actually I really feel like I felt 4 years in the past,” Mitchell mentioned. “… Man I’m nonetheless going robust.”
“Mitch is unforgettable,” Olson mentioned. “He has essentially the most resilient spirit of anybody I’ve ever met, and brightens the room just by being in it.”
“Regardless of having incurable most cancers, he by no means let it get in the best way of his constructive angle,” mentioned John Vu, a medical oncologist with Baptist MD Anderson. “Once I noticed him in clinic, he all the time had essentially the most contagious smile and had loads of jokes to inform. He was fearless and all the time appeared to see the glass half full … He has been an inspiration to me and my workplace employees.”
The self-described “tremendous fan for the Jaguars” mentioned he has no doubts about how Sunday’s sport will prove. He precisely predicted that the Jags would beat the Pittsburgh Steelers final Sunday. He now expects them to beat the Patriots.
“We’re going all the best way to the Tremendous Bowl,” he mentioned. “That is our 12 months.”
Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413