Jim Collins was many things to many people. He was a husband....a father....a son...a brother....an uncle....a friend.....a colleague....and so much more. He had a zest and a passion for life like no other. Every day and every thing was an adventure, some more carefully planned an executed than others. Which made his devastating Stage IV colon cancer diagnosis in October of 2017 such a shock.
Never one to be overdramatic or to look for pity, Jim took his diagnosis in stride and simply asked what he needed to do to get better. Not once did he Google anything about his treatment or prognosis. As he said "the internet is full of other people's stories....I'm going to write my own story, and I'm going to beat this." They say that a person's mental attitude is just as important as their physical health when starting a fight like this. Jim truly believed he was going to be cured and in doing so made everyone else believe too.
Jim approached his cancer battle with the same enthusiasm and sense of humor that he had approached everything else in his life. For every chemo treatment he picked a theme and a song.....a chemo ear worm that was relevant to whatever was happening at the time. He wore costumes and his trademark gold Elvis sunglasses. He didn't shy away from taking pictures each time even as the chemo and cancer took their physical toll.
From the moment he was diagnosed every doctor, nurse, specialist and therapist in the Dana-Farber organization treated Jim, and our whole family, with the highest levels of compassion and professionalism. When he went to the clinic for his bi-weekly chemotherapy infusions his "team" was always there with a smile and went above and beyond to make him feel respected and supported during the treatment. During his numerous hospitalizations the staff did everything they could to make his stays as comfortable as possible. He underwent countless infusions, surgeries and interventional procedures over the nearly year and a half of treatment.
Jim's cancer battle ultimately came to an end on January 16, 2019 at the age of 45. In his 45 years Jim did enough to fill a thousand lives. He worked hard, he played hard, and he loved unconditionally. He smiled and laughed and took advantage of everything life had to offer. Everyone around him is better for having known him, and owe it to Jim and to themselves to live their lives with even an ounce of the passion that he did.
For the 2023 Jimmy Fund Walk Team Jimspiration is directing all of it's fundraising efforts to Dr. Kimmie Ng and her groundbreaking metastatic colorectal cancer research and work with the Young Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber. It is our hope that someday soon there will be a cure for this devastating disease.
Thank you for supporting our team in the Jimmy Fund Walk. Together, we can defy cancer!