Jay Lefevers keeps himself busy these days with family, running his own real estate company, and the release of his first book on life and surviving cancer and a brain tumor.
Lefevers, who is now cancer free, said keeping busy may have helped him overcome that battle.
After three subsequent surgeries to remove a brain tumor in 2005, he was diagnosed with lymphoma.
“All of this was clumped into this five-year period, it was a whirlwind,” said Lefevers, who lives in Phoenix with his wife, Lyn, and three college-aged kids.
Lefevers began radiation treatments, which left him with his right leg numb, lung scarring, and a metal plate in his head. Ramifications, he said, that serve as daily reminders.
But with a content and assured voice, Lefevers said he feels fortunate to have made it through.
“I felt guilty that I didn’t have some revelation of life, but I didn’t think about dying and did everything that way,” Lefevers said. “I think (working) was my therapy.”
Along with the release of his first book, “Cancer on the Brain: One Man’s Journey of Baseball, Business, and Beating the Odds,” Lefevers also celebrates his 50th birthday and his company’s 20th anniversary this year.
During the battle with cancer, Lefevers said he continued working with his real estate company, Lefevers Viewpoint Group, and managed an inner-city little league team. A bunch he described as being “pretty rough.”
Lefevers said he didn’t want to show his team weakness, and in turn grew more committed to them. He continued coaching and guided his own company to success. Lefevers Viewpoint Group was ranked among the top 5,000 fastest-growing companies in 2008 by Inc. Magazine.
“I even told my own kids to keep doing their own activities, we didn’t dwell on (my illness,)” Lefevers said.
While coaching hasn’t been in the cards for Lefevers lately, he keeps an open mind about continuing in the future.
For now, he is happy to spend time with his family, company, and new book.
Understanding that each cancer patient deals with their struggle differently, Lefevers encourages other patients to “be a self advocate and take responsibility for your own health and decisions.”
• Diana Martinez is freelancing this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.