I first learned about Jason Fredericks from viewing videos on YouTube such as “How To Shout In A Black Church” by the comedic group known as the Playmakers (consisting of Jason, his brother Kevin and their friend Anthony Davis). Later on I became more acquainted with his individual style of comedy through a Periscope line up that he, Kevin and their friends Cheryce Thompson and Sheri Anderson would do when Periscope was a huge craze and Facebook/Instagram Live were ideas for the future. You may know him from social media as well or if you have ever conducted any scheduling for Kevonstage, chances are you have communicated with Jason. Jason Fredericks is much more than a comedian, a writer, a businessman and the brother of Kevonstage. He is a husband, father, basketball coach and a cancer survivor.
On July 12, 2017 Jason took to social media asking for prayer stating “I’m going in for a biopsy today. They are checking for a cancer in my bone marrow called Multiple Myeloma. If you see this post stop and say a quick prayer for your boy. Thank you. I appreciate it.” Twelve days later he shared an update that there was cancer found in his plasma and it was attacking his bones. He had stage three cancer and was looking at six months of chemotherapy treatments and a possible bone marrow transplant. But let’s rewind a bit and go behind the social media updates and find out exactly how things unfolded.
For months upon months Jason suffered from back pain. He sought professional assistance for his back pain from the chiropractor and massage therapist. He went to appointment after appointment and finally relief was occurring after a year. As life would have it, Jason and his son, Julian a.k.a. JuJu, were involved in a car accident. Due to complaints of headaches from his son they made a trip to the emergency room to be examined, as a precaution. He went to get a quick check up because of a car accident, but that quickly changed. After medical examination for both Jason and his son the doctor advised that Julian was well but expressed concern with Jason’s X-rays. Jason’s bones appeared as bones of a man sixty years of age or older. The doctor could see that Jason was not an elder gentleman but 37 years of age and wanted to do more examination on him. After additional X-rays and an MRI the doctor advised Jason that they needed to admit him to the hospital. At this point Jason grew curious of what was happening and asked the doctor if the situation was truly serious enough where hospital admission was necessary.
At that moment, in front of his son, Jason learned that the back trouble he was experiencing for over a year was due to his bones eroding and he could have cancer. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and unknown to him at the time, he was admitted to the oncology floor of the facility.
When asked about his initial reaction to his diagnosis Jason thought about his health practices and actions over the years. He stated “I questioned why it had to happen to me and I didn’t know how to deal with it.” Multiple Myeloma is not typically a form of cancer that young adults are diagnosed with, but more commonly diagnosed to older individuals. Jason, just as many others, was living his life with an understanding that life is what it is and he would do everything he could to make the best of it and eventually, one day when he is old God would take him on to heaven. With this bombshell announcement in his life he was now open to a new outlook on life.
Everyone handles things differently and when it came to how to handle this news he made a decision to share with his followers and friends via social media. It was not for attention. “I didn’t want it to be one of those things where something happened to me and later down the road people say it came out of the blue,” said Jason. He knew from the onset that there would be a testimony and from the moment he began to share on social media, in regards to his medical diagnosis, he received much more encouragement, testimonies and prayers than he anticipated and for that he is grateful.
Jason has pulled from his faith and scripture to help get him through this new journey. One scripture he referenced during the interview was Luke 22:42 when Jesus prayed for God to take the cup from him just before he was crucified and in his next breath a prayer of acceptance that if it was God’s will, so be it. Jason has grown to see Multiple Myeloma as his cross to bare and he will try his best to work through it.
“It [cancer] has strengthened a lot my relationships with my family. It has put a lot of things in perspective of what matters and what doesn’t matter,”said Jason. His time with his wife, children and other family hold more value than it did before because he treats each moment as if it may be the last time that he can have with them. Not because he doesn’t believe he won’t live a long life, but because immortality is more of a reality to him now than it was before he received his diagnosis.
“I don’t understand why it had to happen to me, but I thank God for giving me the strength to endure everything that’s been going on with me.” While Jason wouldn’t choose to go through life with this experience, for whatever reason he is and he wants God to get the glory.