I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2007 and received a stem cell transplant at The Winship Cancer Center later that year.
The story of cancer is seldom about the patient. The story is about providers, researchers and families; particularly families. It can be confusing and frightening. It is difficult enough for adults, but it is much more difficult for children. My story is best told by one of my grandchildren as a school project for Veteran’s Day.
Jackson Kiser Veteran’s Day Essay October 15, 2013
I have several members of my family who have served in the military. I choose to write this essay about my grandfather, Paul Griffin. We call him Ahpa.
He served in the Navy from 1963 until 1990. During this 27 year career, he served in Vietnam. He has lived in many different places, such as Florida, Texas and Hawaii.
While in the Navy, my Ahpa learned some valuable lessons. He developed skills that he still uses today, including discipline, bravery and strength. Unfortunately, he is fighting a different battle today: Cancer.
Throughout his struggle, my Ahpa has taught me the importance of these principles. I am so proud of him. When he feels sick, he is still there to help me with my math homework. Even when he is exhausted from the medicine, he still plays baseball with my brother Sam. And even though his body hurts, he takes my youngest brother, Griffin, to the pool to play for hours.
He is my hero!! If you ask him about his years in the military, he will tell you he feels honored to have been a member of the United States Navy. After a long career, he retired a Captain.