A resilient 19-year-old man from Northampton who is battling terminal blood cancer has vowed to raise as much money as he can for Cure Leukaemia so nobody else is ever in the same position as him.
Jake Hood, of Delapre, suffered a relapse of his Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in May this year after having two-and-a-half years of intensive chemotherapy.
Despite even more treatment, the cancer has proved to be too aggressive to completely eliminate with chemotherapy.
Jake, a keen rugby player, has now organised a rugby match between a team chosen by him and a side chosen by his dad on October 18 at Northampton BBOB in St Andrews Road to raise money for Cure Leukaemia
He said: “I want nobody else to ever be put in the same position I was, with all the options and difficult decisions I had to make.
“I want to raise as much money as possible for Cure Leukaemia. That is the impact I want to make before I die.
”No one wants to die but I have to be realistic. The hardest thing for me is to see the pain in my family and friend’s eyes. I don’t want to leave them.”
Jake said he was determined to keep battling the cancer and did not want the disease to define him or make him a figure of pity.
He said: “If I could describe cancer. It would not be a physical pain but it is a psychological pain and you just can’t let it get you down.
“I’m in a bad situation and I could just lie down and stay in my bed all day. But I’m not going die like that. It is my friends and my family who make me pull myself out of bed and go out and do things.
“It hits you at strange times, you could be doing something fun and then you think ‘I might not be able to do this again’. I like going to Tesco and picking up all my fruit and I was in there the other day and I suddenly thought I might not do that again.
“But in this predicament I don’t want people’s pity and I don’t want people to lie to me. You just cannot let the cancer win.
“I had an intensive chemotherapy session and then in the afternoon I went to the gym. It is a mental battle and you have to work your socks off to fight it.
“I am determined to make it to Christmas. I want another Christmas with my family.”
Jake, who was working a trainee electrician when he was diagnosed, said he believed the cancer had changed his perspective on life.
He said: “The cancer has changed me as a person. I was a bit shy but now I realise life is way to short to worry about what people think of you. Just be yourself.
“Although I don’t resent people who worry about the little things, as I was exactly the same before I had cancer.”
The Jake Hood charity match will be held at BBOB Northampton in St Andrews Road from 10.30am on Sunday, October 18. The event will also include a barbecue, tombola and a raffle.
Jake has set up a Just Giving page at JakeHood