24. New lease on life

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Jared shared what it was like to get a blood stem cell transplant in the middle of the pandemic and how he is adjusting to the identity and life of a survivor, including edible gummies, makeup experiments, and being a Be the Match ambassador.

I had a lot of fun chatting with Jared, especially the part about shitty self-care, for a couple of reasons: I was slightly amused that South Park is part of Jared’s way to “check-out” because if anyone asks my husband what we do on vacation, he will tell you that South Park is the first thing I look for on TV when we check into a hotel. There’s something very cathartic about crude cartoons I guess.

But also when Jared mentioned nighttime being more of a struggle for his mental health, sometimes worrying about cancer coming back, it made me think about how I sometimes have this nagging thought about me or someone else close to me getting cancer in the near future. I guess there’s a bit of PTSD there having had so many close family members get cancer, but it also made me realize how much harder it must be for patients and survivors to deal with that kind of anxiety on an ongoing basis.

I know Jared said that he’s now wrapping his head around his identity as a survivor and is therefore looking for ways to get involved with the cancer community. I love that he’s an ambassador for Be The Match, because cancer and diseases can be such a heavy and sterile topic and his fun and glamorous persona can make the topic more accessible for a wider audience.

You can find Jared on Instagram at @jaredlips and listen to his podcast Back on Air.
Learn more about Be the Match and how to become a donor on its website.

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