Josh was a 27 year old Army Ranger and Captain taking a career course at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma when his whole world was turned upside down. Back pain, that he thought was something routine turned out to be Neuroendocrine cancer. Josh went from being on top of the world with a promising Army career and engaged to be married to a diagnosis of about a year to live.
He transferred to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. immediately for treatment. His engagement was broken off and he began chemotherapy. After the initial round of chemo failed he was given 6 months to live. Depressed and near rock bottom Josh found the Ulman Cancer Foundation thru their young adult support group at Walter Reed.
Josh allowed himself to be placed in a clinical trial for his very aggressive cancer. The trial showed promise in slowing the cancer and Josh was able to stabilize his life. Starting with his involvement at Ulman the rest of Josh’s life was filled with outreach to others with Cancer and/or Military causes. Thru Ulman he participated in the Key to Keys ride from Baltimore to Key West multiple times. This ride while therapeutic for the riders also involved stops at facilities along the route to encourage others. Josh began to be a go to resource for others who came into Walter Reed using his experience to help them ‘learn the ropes’ and get settled in. This included writing a document to be given to new patients.
Josh also participated, while undergoing more chemo on the Ruck to Remember, a 60 mile ruck march in 60 hours ending at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day. This event supported Wounded Warrior and other military causes. Josh was engaged with other causes in both the cancer and military communities while his condition was gradually worsening.
Eventually Josh began taking a second clinical trial drug, becoming the first person in the United States to take the drug. Josh willingly endured additional testing on a regular basis to allow the doctors to learn all they could from what he was going thru. Eventually, his cancer continued to grow and after several months of severe diarrhea and trips in and out of the hospital Josh passed away, over 5 years after his initial diagnosis of a year to live.