Jonathan Jones was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour at the age of 17 – and now aged just 32 has had a staggering 170 rounds of chemo to keep it at bay
A man believed to have endured the world’s largest number of chemotherapy sessions had proved doctors wrong after naturally conceiving his first child.
Jonathan Jones, 32, was first diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour at the tender age of 17.
And after surviving over 170 rounds of chemotherapy to keep the tumour at bay, Jonathan was believed to never be able to father a child and had even frozen his sperm as a teen as a precaution.
Now Jonathan and his loving partner Danielle Taylor, 31, who he met in a bar in Birmingham in 2019, are the proud parents of their young baby, JJ.
Danielle said: “When he told me about the brain tumour he thought I’d be put off. It just made me want to get to know him even more.
“I just thought ‘What an amazing guy.’ That was it for me. He’s just one in a million.”
Despite being told he may never father children and freezing his sperm when just a teen, he recently welcomed his first child after less than a year and without the help of IVF.
Jonathan said: “I’d always wanted to be a dad, but I didn’t think I would ever have a child as I have had over 170 rounds of chemo”
“JJ is an absolute miracle and was conceived naturally, although we were looking into IVF. I really think my story will inspire other people to remain strong and hopeful.”
Jonathan remembers the stress of his school days, with poor behaviour always holding him back.
Looking back now, he believes it may have been the brain tumour growing and changing his personality even at the age of five or six.
His mum mum, Alison Keen, 55, was convinced there was more to her son’s unruly behaviour than just ADHD.
Alison tried it all – from trying to section his son at The Priory, a mental health care facility, even attempting to go on the now cancelled Jeremy Kyle show, which Jonathon refused in the end.
It all seemed lost until Jonathan’s mum took him back to the doctors at the end of July 2007 and demanded a brain scan.
And within the hour, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour that was the size of an orange.
His mum was even told had the tumour been left for another two weeks Jonathan would have died.
Immediately he was rushed into surgery at University Hospital Coventry where 98% of the growth was removed and was diagnosed to be a cancerous Oligodendroglioma.
Doctors told him he would need chemo for the rest of his life to keep the tumour at bay and he has been on chemo drugs ever since – with 2021 his 14th year of treatment.
He is now on four-weekly cycles, to be extended to six-weekly as he gets older.
Worried about his fertility, Jonathan also had his sperm frozen when he was diagnosed in case he wanted to become a dad at a later date.
Cancer treatment can slow or stop sperm production altogether and some men become permanently infertile.
He married in his 20s and was with that partner for ten years, but they split up and Jonathan met Danielle in a bar in Birmingham in 2019.
“It was instant,” Jonathan said.
“I’d given up on meeting people. She was different.”
The couple suffered an unplanned pregnancy after five months and were gutted to miscarry, so planned to do IVF after consulting with their GP.
But they conceived naturally again after six months.
The result is their son JJ, born on May 8 this year.
Now the couple is gearing up and ready for another baby together to add to their ever-growing miracle family.
Jonathan said: “With JJ and Danielle, my life aside from the chemo is perfect. JJ is such a blessing.”