Local student earns national scholarship
Jake Martell is a survivor with a mission.
Currently a student at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Martell has been battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, a hard tissue and bone cancer, on and off since fall 2004.
Martell is a recipient of the National Children’s Cancer Society’s “Beyond the Cure” scholarship, a $5,000 award that goes toward funding the education of childhood cancer survivors. He is one of 38 recipients this year. The NCCS, is an organization which provides support and resources for families and cancer patients to help them through the road ahead when it comes to dealing with cancer.
“I was really relieved and excited to get (the scholarship),” Martell said. “It definitely takes the pressure off for working during the summers, it’s a really great thing, and you can reapply for it up to four different times.”
Martell is using his scholarship to help fund his studies in biochemistry and molecular biology.
“My major is heavy into the sciences and it’s very interesting and different. It also leads to some pretty long nights,” Martell said. “I’m hoping to apply it in a research direction, specifically on cancer and probably creating new treatments.”
Martell has had four relapses since his battle with cancer began.
“My last three or four treatments have been experimental treatments and I’d like to help develop alternatives for cancer patients other than chemotherapy,” Martell said.
Martell is in treatment now with a medication regimen called combat chemo.
“It’s one of the better treatments I’ve had. I just take my meds in the morning and go about my day,” Martell said.
He says he’s gotten through everything with the support of his family and friends though the road has been frustrating.
“After the first relapse it’s really hard, but you have to face reality and you know that’s it’s always in the back of your mind but you have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” Martell said. “After awhile you’ve gotta do what you gotta do and make sure that you don’t worry so much about the future that could happen without living and enjoying things that are happening now.”
Martell’s advice to other people dealing with cancer is to live in the present and try and keep on as normally as possible. Going to school, playing sports, and hanging out with his friends have helped him.