Hi, my name is Justin Ozuna.
In January of 2006, at the age of 24, I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. Despite having a blog platform, I never explored the feelings of being a young adult living with a relatively incurable form of cancer. A few weeks after my 29th birthday, I was informed that my leukemia cells had a t315i mutation – the most difficult mutation to overcome. At the time, no FDA-approved medication was available to effectively treat my leukemia. My only hope to avoid a bone marrow transplant was a clinical trial drug called Ponatinib. That event changed my life and inspired me to share my story.
This blog is an imperfect attempt to capture the undefined moments of a young adult living with leukemia. I’ll finally explore feelings that I once ignored, pushed away, or pretended didn’t exist. I’ll share thoughts and ideas not found in cancer pamphlets and rediscover what it is to finally accept a “new normal”. Having dropped out of school on three separate occasions due to my health, I’ll also document the adversity of pursuing my dreams for the fourth time.
I’m currently an Emerging Media and Communications major at the University of Texas at Dallas and am engaged to be married to my best friend, Katie, in October of 2013. I blog for MD Anderson and for my employer, Oncor. I’m a Texas representative for the National CML Society, a national non-profit, and am a coalition member for Baylor Health Care System’s young adult cancer survivor’s program.
This is my life.