STAYING STRONG – Jason Kom-Tong

Local family continues to move ahead after cancer diagnosis

  • Feb. 18, 2015 3:29 p.m.

Thanks to immuno-therapies, Red Deer resident Jason Kom-Tong, 35, is seeing positive results after a devastating cancer diagnosis.

The father of two has been battling stage four cancer and last year was given just months to live.

But immuno-therapy treatments in Vancouver are showing very promising results, explained his wife Bambi.

“Jason is back and forth between Vancouver and Red Deer,” she said. “And the immuno-therapy is for sure working.”

Doctors have said all the cancer on his face is gone.

“He also had two cancers in his neck and they are gone. Or they are small enough that they aren’t showing up on the CT scan.”

Also, the cancer at the base of his skull has shrunk.

“It’s really good news,” she said, adding that immuno-therapy was expected to primarily just halt the progression of the cancers.

“I’m feeling excited,” she said. “Jason is doing really good – his attitude has improved ten-fold. He’s got more energy, he’s up and about. He’s playing with the kids again. He’s able to make his own breakfast and things like that.

“For us, that’s a big thing.”

Jason was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma or tongue cancer.

He and his family are also hoping he can eventually travel to Arizona for specialized treatment, but it’s costly. They are trying to raise about $175,000.

Bambi added the round of immuno-therapy treatments are wrapping up in May, so that’s about when the family would like to begin further treatments in Arizona.

It was back in 2006 that Jason first noticed an unusual mark on his tongue.

In 2008, it started to change shape and move closer to the front of his tongue. A biopsy was done, which came back negative.

Another biopsy was done in 2009, again with negative results.

In 2011, he went for another as the sore wasn’t healing, and in fact was becoming more painful. In 2011, it became like a persistent cut that pretty much always hurt.

A biopsy was done in Vancouver.

At that point, it was called dysplasia which is described as a kind of pre-cancerous condition.

Over the next while, his conditioned worsened. More tests were done and a cancer diagnosis was confirmed in 2013.

Jason had major surgery in November of 2013 as well, as doctors removed part of his tongue and essentially replaced the cancerous part with muscle from his arm.

He then underwent 33 sessions of radiation and three sessions of chemotherapy.

Last May, they discovered cancer had returned to his mouth and had also spread to his jawbone.

A second surgery was done to remove his tongue (glossectomy), and again re-build it using his own muscles and then permanently attaching his new muscle to the floor of his mouth.

Last September, he had sores on his face and learned they were cancerous as well. They had also metastasized into his blood stream.

Doctors have also since told Jason there is nothing more they can do for him. But he and Bambi weren’t and aren’t about to give up the fight.

Through research, they learned of a facility in Arizona called the Envita Medical Centre where one of the treatments includes a chemotherapy that zeros in on the precise affected area.

It’s estimated he would need to be at the facility for about four months to receive the treatments which also include more immuno-therapies, nutritional therapy and detoxification therapy.

These days, the couple is grateful at the support they’ve received from the community.

“It’s just really amazing that a whole community came together – Red Deer as a whole – and really shown their community spirit.”

For more details about how to support Jason and Bambi, visit http://www.gofundme.com/hdrsdw.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Red Deer River Naturalists host guest speaker

Bradley Peter will talk about new methods of lake monitoring

Superintendent Ken Foster sees progress in city policing

Red Deer RCMP Superintendent has been on the job for a year and has seen success

Accused Jason Klaus testifies in triple-homicide trial in Red Deer

Klaus charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of arson

Red Deer County team honoured for aid in Waterton Fires

Red Deer County Protective Services a huge help to RCMP

WATCH: Red Deerians come together to ‘light the night’

Traditional Red Deer Lights the Night sees thousands

Canadian screen stars want ‘action’ from industry meeting on sexual misconduct

‘Of course there’s been sexual harassment here. Absolutely. No question.’

Opioid prescriptions up across Canada: report

The report shows the number of opioid prescriptions rose by almost seven per cent, while daily doses on average dropped

Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci warns that Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Health Canada hints at government’s plans for legal pot

Health warnings, plain covers for pot packs under proposed regulations

Washington governor tells BC don’t be ‘daunted’ by Trump

“I want to assure this assembly that no matter who is in the White House, it won’t affect Washington state’s relationship with Canada or British Columbia.”

Feds plan to spend billions on housing strategy

However much of the $15.9 billion will not be spent until after the next election in 2019

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million: auditor general

Michael Ferguson’s review hints the entire system should be scrapped

Most Read