Bainbridge cancer survivor to be honored at Celebrate Life event

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Friday afternoon the red carpet will be rolled out for numerous patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Newnan, Georgia. One of those patients will be Bainbridge resident, Constance Jakes.

Jakes will takes part in the center’s Celebrate Life 2018 event, which honors five-year cancer survivors and adds their names to the “Tree of Life” that is located in the hospital lobby.

The tree is a lasting reminder of the courage and strength of cancer survivors and serves as inspiration for those who are still battling.

Email newsletter signup

Jakes described herself as a happy, carefree, young lady before she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2013. Jakes had gone to the doctor, where they found blood in a suspicious area. Upon further testing, it was revealed she had cancer.

“When I got diagnosed, my world crashed down, but then it rose back up with the help of my Lord and Savior,” Jakes said.

The doctor gave Jakes the ultimatum of seeing a specialist in Tallahassee or Thomasville, but Jakes told her family she had somewhere different in mind.

“If I have to go somewhere and I can, I want to go to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America,” Jakes informed them.

Jakes had only seen the CTCA at Southeastern Regional Medical Center on television, but her cousin, Sonja T. Noble, found their number on the Internet and provided it to Jakes.

After receiving the number, Jakes spoke to a representative who told her what information they would need in order for her to get care there. Jakes gave the necessary information and was accepted. She said she never paid for anything regarding her treatment.

CTCA at Southeastern Regional Medical Center put her on a plane and flew her to the center for her treatment and surgery.

Jakes had her surgery on March 7, 2013. A doctor from Pennsylvania and a doctor from Newnan operated on her neck and stomach simultaneously. She said when she finished surgery, the doctors told her they had never seen a patient grinning, but she was.

After her extensive surgery and treatment, Jakes was declared cancer free.

“I was so glad when they told me,” Jakes said. “I couldn’t help but to cry knowing I was released and cancer free.”

Jakes said she owes all the glory to the treatment center in Newnan, her team of doctors and Lord and Savior. She also is thankful to her supportive family, especially Noble.

Since her remission, Jakes said her life has changed tremendously. She said she doesn’t do some of the things she used to anymore and has become an avid churchgoer.

She has made new friends through her church and spends time with people who are willing to help her heal.

“It was a real wake up call,” Jakes said.

When Jakes isn’t attending church, she said she is constantly talking about CTCA at Southeastern Regional Medical Center. She tells everyone of how the doctors are true miracle workers and always make time for the patients. Jakes participation in the center’s event shows the doctors never forget a patient.

“They’re still caring for me,” she said. “It means the world to me. I never thought I would get this special treatment.”

Jakes knows it will be a glorious ceremony, as she saw a preview of it during her visit in 2017.

“Celebrate Life is a unique opportunity for us all,” said medical oncologist Dr. John McKnight. “This holiday reconnects us with our purpose and reunites us with patients and families to celebrate not only this incredible milestone but also our daily blessings.”

Jakes is excited to take part in this ritual and release a dove at the end of the ceremony.