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Jess Cooper

Jess Cooper was fifteen years old and a sophomore at Carmel High School when she heard the words that would change her life forever.

She was enjoying her time as a student, exploring what path she might want to take as she grew older. She loved broadcast journalism, animals, and spending time with her friends and family.

In March of 2019, her life took a shift when she was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Jess underwent five rounds of intravenous chemotherapy, and participated in clinical trial AHOD1331 with Children’s Oncology Group. With Dr. James Croop leading her team at Riley Hospital, Jess and her family knew they were right where they needed to be.

Jess was declared in remission on July 11, 2019 and has since dedicated every moment of her life to being an advocate for the friends she met on ‘five west’ (Riley Hospital’s Oncology floor).

“Being fifteen and on the older side of being a pediatric cancer patient I was able to understand that what I went through was traumatic and heartbreaking, and even though I’m in remission I will never be ‘cancer free.’ There’s no such thing as being free of cancer once you’re diagnosed, because it becomes a daily thought and worry.”

Now, Jess is on our CSCCE team as an intern using her voice and knowledge to advocate for children with pediatric cancer. She believes that in order to have better outcomes for patients and survivors, there needs to be more funding for research dedicated to finding less toxic treatments.

“During treatment all I wanted to be was on the other side of cancer. Back to what I believed was a normal life. Now that I know that there is no such thing as being ‘over cancer,’ I know it’s important that I use my voice as a survivor to create change.”

Jess is studying Social Work and Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Indiana University Bloomington.

“I’m a pediatric cancer survivor, but more importantly I’m an advocate, and I will continue to be an advocate until there is some sort of statistical change.”

Jess is a strong supporter of the endowment and she never passes up an opportunity to ask friends, family and co-workers to do the same.