2013 Storytellers Jenene & Ross Youngman

Janene and Ross Jenene and Ross Youngman’s story is of love and lasting and of two big hearts that have seen both the highs and lows of surviving cancer. Until cancer knocked on their door they didn’t realize how far they would go for each other.

Jenene was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia on February 18, 2011. It was a day they would both never forget. They were in this fight together!

The week leading up to her diagnoses Jenene had been feeling pain and fatigue throughout her body, and was bruising for no reason. Her co-workers were worried for her, no one could figure out what might be causing these symptoms.

She’d gone to her ‘regular doctor’ a few weeks prior who was not able to find a cause for the pain or the bruising. After small ‘red spots’ appeared across Jenene’s skin, a work friend encouraged her to her doctor. She was told to go to straight to the hospital.

Test after test, and hour after hour she waited with family and friends, either by her side or a call away. Finally, they were told she would be admitted to the hospital. Jenene was moved from the Emergency Department to the cancer ward of Good Samaritan Hospital. Jenene’s first indication that something serious was up. Ross had left to collect items for Jenene to have at the hospital that night. So he was not there when the doctor came in and told her she had Leukemia. Thankfully her mom and best friend Jayme were by her side. Jenene didn’t tell Ross over the phone, but called and told him she needed him to come back right away.

Let’s just say that when they talked about it, everything became real, and they decided to tackle this head on. Nothing was going to stand in their way of her getting better and them moving forward from what would normally be tragic and make life worth living.

Ross had to become the strong one emotionally, holding all of the family and friends together, making sure that Jenene was never alone. She was there to fight the fight, to make it out to the other side from patient to survivor. The line between patient and caregiver got so intertwined that they were able to read each other’s needs without words.

Have you ever loved someone that would be willing to help you go to the bathroom, shower, change your clothes, make sure you take your medications on time? Have you ever felt a connection with another that you just work in sync? This is really a story of fighting something together. They have faced each thing that has come up, together. Her chemo treatments, her hair falling out, her sleeping for days on end, the 3 days of ICU after her seizures, his nights of restlessness caused by not knowing what the future held for them.

Mentally cancer will break you down, but with the love and support of a partner, family, and friends we can all rise again to be stronger than before. No one fights alone. Now, Jenene is cancer free, striving for the next adventure, and they are doing this hand in hand!

To learn more about their story visit Neener’s Blog.

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