The Roseman University community celebrates the life of Jason Douglass. By any measure, Jason was successful. The College of Pharmacy graduate completed his program at the Henderson, NV Campus and went on to enjoy a rewarding career holding multiple positions within the Walmart Corporation at both Walmart and Sam’s Club. But, personal success just wasn’t enough for Jason. He also committed himself to the development of others serving as a preceptor for Roseman. For five years beginning in 2013, he mentored, trained and supervised young professionals entering the field of Pharmacy.
Jason first noticed symptoms while finishing a work out. Initially the young father dismissed his symptoms as relatively minor; uncomfortable but not unmanageable. But, when shoulder and arm weakness persisted, he scheduled an appointment with his physician. Nothing could prepare him (or his family) for what came next.
After initial biopsy results came back inconclusive, Jason underwent two additional biopsies in two different hospitals. He soon learned that his symptoms were caused by lymphomas (or diseased masses) that had formed in his brain. Lymphomas are cancers that start in white blood cells called lymphocytes. Jason was eventually diagnosed with Rosai-Dorfman Disease, a distant relative to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, caused by overproduction of a particular type of white blood cell named non Langerhans sinus histiocyte. The lymph system, which is part of the immune system, helps fight infections and other diseases.
In less than two months, three small masses turned into more than fifteen that spread throughout his lymph system and brain. This incredibly rare brain disease is unlike many other forms of lymphoma and requires chemotherapy and radiation treatments similar to those used to treat other cancers. The treatments are often grueling with unpleasant side effects. In Jason’s case, he eventually lost the use of his left arm, hand and his ability to walk. But his positive outlook never wavered. With the support of his devoted family, friends and colleagues, Jason fought for ten years, beating the disease on three separate occasions, but recently lost his battle to the rare form of cancer.
Jason is survived by his wife and two young sons, ages four and six. Jason’s wife Pamela finds strength in her faith and believes that the life-long friendships he made at Roseman brought him great joy. She maintains that the memories from his pharmacy program were some of his absolute fondest. She is grateful for the stories from his classmates and professors and she is confident that his legacy is not one that will soon be forgotten.
As for Roseman faculty and staff, Experience Coordinator, and Assistant Professor Leiana Oswald, BS, PharmD, BCGP said it best. “Our hearts go out to Jason’s family,” she started. “We take pride in our alumni, especially those who give back to our program the way that Jason did,” she continued. “We know that his spirit lives on in the countless student lives he positively impacted while serving as a preceptor.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jason’s community rallied around him setting up a Go Fund Me page, raising nearly fourteen thousand dollars to assist his family with medical and living expense incurred during his treatment. The page is still accepting donations and is just shy of its fifteen thousand dollar fundraising goal.
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