Heroes Project Update: Jim L. Markham
Jim Markham will soon be able to add Ph.D. to the end of his name. The Mill Creek High School principal recently completed his dissertation – a life long dream he may have not been able to achieve several years ago. In 1996, Jim was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable bone marrow cancer in which he was only given 27 to 36 months to live.
Through his courage and strength, our 2010 Hero decided he would not give in to cancer and he has remained in remission ever since. “There has not been a reoccurrence or flare up in several years. I am still following a once every six months checkup regimen,” he says.
Today, he continues his work serving high school students and is still frequently contacted for advice on dealing and living with cancer. Jim recalls, “There are about 1 to 18 people that I regularly speak with. I tell them that each one of us is different – we each deal with adversity in different ways – and that it”s okay to get both angry and/or sad about cancer.”
He goes to say that cancer is a disease that affects an entire family, not just the person with the illness. “I tell people to be completely open about their disease and to make sure that their relatives and friends understand that you are okay to speak with about your disease. You can make them feel better,” he says.