A D.C. nurse at MedStar Washington Hospital Center has spent his career caring for patients — but now he’s fighting for his own life, battling cancer.
Jay Hogeboon is a nurse who cares for cardiac surgery patients.
“I know that when you’re in the hospital, it’s not the most enjoyable time,” he said. “So if I can do anything to make it better, that makes me feel good too.”
Hogeboon started to feel sick in December 2020.
“Even giving reports to other nurses, I would get short of breath,” Hogeboon said. “My heart rate was going up, I was losing weight, I wasn’t eating as much.”
Hogeboon was diagnosed with thymic carcinoma, a cancer of a gland in the chest. Cancer spread in his body, including to his brain.
Hogeboon underwent brain surgery and is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
D.C. health care workers made sure he doesn't go through the process alone.
“There are days that I feel really crappy,” Hogeboon said. “But, you know, I’m managing pretty well, I think. It’s something I have to get past, and I have plenty of people helping me get through it.”
One of Hogeboon’s coworkers and friends, Taylor Pisk, has supported him through the process.
“I’d check the schedule. If Jay was working nights, I knew I was gonna have a good night,” Pisk said.
Pisk started a fundraiser to help raise money for Hogeboon’s medical expenses. It’s already raised more than $20,000.
“I’ve been a witness to how amazing of a person he is and just a nurse,” Pisk said. “Knowing that he’s suffering, I would give anything to honestly take his spot.”
Hobegoon’s coworkers sent a video to News4 to play for him.
His coworkers have been there to lift him up over the past months.
“I tell them whenever they message me how much I appreciate every single time they reach out,” Hogeboon said.
Editor’s note (May 2, 2021, 12:25 p.m. ET): This story has been updated to add information on Hogeboon’s diagnosis.