“ Just keep on keeping on! You’ve made it this far! Life is a gift. Take time to smell the roses!
Jack Bouffard is one funny mAss Kicker. He is currently the Vice President of Grassroots Advocacy for the I’m Too Young for This Cancer Foundation. He is a co-host of the “Stupid Cancer show” and travels everywhere to make sure people know about young adult survivor issues. Don’t let his humorous antics fool you. He has a very a serious side when it comes to talking about his passion for the young adult survivor movement. Jack is also a regular onSIRIUS/XM Doctor Radio’s Oncology Show and has emerged as a national spokesperson for the young adult cancer movement. He currently lives and practices massage in Danbury, CT and received his certification from the Connecticut Center For Massage Therapy.
mK: What/ when was your diagnosis? How did you find out about your diagnosis?
JB: I was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin Lymphoma January 8, 2008. I found out after three months of numerous blood tests, blood cultures and a CT Scan.
mK: Yikes! What were your symptoms?
JB: I suffered from high fevers and night sweats and lost 30 lbs over the course of three months.
mK: Why did you get involved with i2y? What exactly do you do for i2y?
JB: I got involved with i2y because I saw the value it brings to the young adult cancer community. When I was in treatment the support groups available to me consisted of men and women in their 50’s and 60’s. There was a huge generational gap and I couldn’t relate to what the other people were going through. When I attended i2y’s OMG Summit in 2008, I was thrilled be among 100+ people just like me and knew I found MY cancer society.
I have many roles within i2y. I co host The Stupid Cancer Show, speak on behalf of the foundation at various cancer events across the country and spend a lot of time connecting with young adult cancer patients and survivors online.
mK: We guess that makes you a “Jack-of-all-trades?” Har har har… Who is your hero or heroes?
JB: My biggest hero has always been Bono. Firstly because I love his music but mainly because he uses his celebrity to raise awareness for many wrongs going on in the world and do a lot of good.
mK: What motivates you?
JB: My main motivator is knowing there’s a young adult patient/survivor out there who needs the support i2y provides and doesn’t know we exist. How do I find that person and let them know they aren’t alone? Also, just knowing there’s always somewhere to go and something to do motivates me enough to get me through the day. That being said, there are plenty of days spent on my couch with my cats when NOTHING can motivate me to get up.
mK: Hey, we all need that time to just chill. When was the first time you felt like yourself after your diagnosis?
JB: It was definitely my first Dave Matthews Band concert three weeks after finishing treatment. I was back in my element, with my people and knew the worst was behind me.
mK: Finding yourself after a traumatic experience is different for everyone, but once you find it. It is great to feel “human” again! What makes you laugh, cry, angry?
JB: Just about everything makes me laugh. Crying mainly comes when something bad happens to someone I care about and I tend to get angry at people who lack common sense.
mK: What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve done?
JB: I’d have to say it was a trip I took around the world. Two weeks in Hawaii, a week in New Zealand, a month in Australia, a week in Singapore followed by ten days in Italy. It was a great summer.
mK: Cool. So, what was the toughest challenge you faced as a survivor? How did you overcome it?
JB: My toughest challenge as a survivor was definitely dealing with my lack of energy. It’s something I still deal with two years later but eating well and exercising has helped a lot. OK, who am I kidding? I don’t exercise, but I did “run” the NYC Half Marathon this past March
mK: HAHAHA! Besides not exercising, what do you like to do in your spare time?
JB: Hang out with my friends, watch sports and relaaaaaaaaaaaaaax.
mK: What are you up to now?
JB: I’m flying from Seattle to JFK and untagging myself from all of Matthew Zachary’s photos of his twins.
mK: Always, on the move… What is your guilty pleasure?
JB: Dave Matthews Band concerts. I’ve been to 126 and have a bunch lined up this summer.
mK: Wow, don’t they play the same sets? That is dedication! (or obsession… j/k hahaha.) Random question… If a Magic Genie granted you three wishes what would they be? X-nay on the wishing for more wishes (Aladdin-style)
JB: To end suffering, eliminate airport delays and for McDonalds to bring back the McRib.
mK: mmmm mmmm mmmm. Ever have a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake? (We can talk about that later!) Anyways… any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?
JB: Listen to your inner voice and trust the advice coming from your medical team.
mK: Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know… anything.
JB: I have quite a serious side. I’m not always the happy-go lucky clown people know me as.
mK: Hey, clowns have serious sides too. Ronald McDonald has his own charity. Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?
JB: Just keep on keeping on! You’ve made it this far! Life is a gift. Take time to smell the roses!
Jack Bouffard, radio personality, world traveler, young adult survivor warrior, and McDonald’s aficionado. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Please checkout I’m Too Young For This. They are putting young adult survivorship on the map.