In late 2016, Jacob Grimstead was riding high after completing a half-marathon with his dad on Catalina Island. A week later, the 14-year-old made an unsettling discovery: a golf ball-sized lump near his collarbone.
His parents, Bill and Sarah, examined the mass that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and made a same-day appointment with pediatrician Nayana Patel, MD. By 5 p.m., after X-rays and blood work, Jacob was scheduled for a follow-up appointment the next day with Liesl Mathias, MD, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, followed by more scans and a biopsy.
One week to the day after his first medical appointment, Jacob received his diagnosis: stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I knew I was going to be in good hands,” said Jacob, “but just the fact that I had cancer and that it was stage 4 — it kind of scared me.”
Dr. Mathias worked closely with colleagues Kenji Morimoto, MD, and Neha Vaghasia, MD, to treat Jacob. They discussed his test results, made a treatment plan, and served as part of a broad support network for the Grimstead family.
After 5 rounds of chemotherapy, Jacob is now in complete remission and deeply grateful to his doctors, nurses, and therapists.
“They cared for me and helped me out with every single thing I needed,” he said. “They were the best team you could wish for.”