The Dear Jack Foundation provides impactful programming that directly benefits adolescents and young adults (AYA) diagnosed with cancer in order to improve their quality of life and create positive health outcomes from treatment to survivorship for patients and their families.
In the spring of 2005, Andrew McMahon and his band Jack's Mannequin embarked on their first U.S. headlining tour. Before completing the tour, Andrew paid a visit to his voice doctor in New York City due to a growing number of health concerns. The results from the blood work that came back the following morning were alarming and Andrew was quickly admitted to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Ultimately, everyone's worst fears were confirmed: Andrew, at the age of 23, had Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL).
After his diagnosis, Andrew underwent two rounds of chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and a lifesaving stem cell transplant from his sister. During his battle with ALL, it became clear that in a generation where cancer has become the second largest cause of death in the U.S. and the biggest public action item relevant to health, there were still major shortfalls in treatment, support, and research on behalf of the young adult demographic.
In an effort to initiate change and provide a voice for the generations of young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer, Andrew McMahon founded the Dear Jack Foundation in July of 2006. Since then, the Dear Jack Foundation has served hundreds of young adult cancer patients and survivors through programs that provide support and community to a demographic far too often forgotten.
"For me, the best part about attending a Breathe Now Retreat was realizing I am not alone in the way I feel and the fears I still have. And getting to spend quality time on this side of treatment with my husband." - Krystina, Breathe Now Retreat Participant, 2018
"THANK YOU to everyone who has helped make the LifeList program happen. I am very humbled and grateful that I got to be part of it. It is truly an invaluable thing, to give a young adult hope and light during some of their darkest times." - Alyssa N., LifeList Participant, 2018
"Receiving multiple cancer diagnoses isn't fun for anyone. When introduced to the DJF family, it provided a welcome and much needed light in a very dark time. Thank you for what you do, what your volunteers, do and everything that you aim for." - Chris (LifeList participant)
"Dear Jack opens up a door to people I didn't even know existed
that have similar struggles and experiences to me with equally similar
feelings about them." - Laura (LifeList Participant)