SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — This Father’s Day weekend, Jared Lee is most thankful for his family and life.
“You can’t do this alone,” he said. “You don’t know how valuable life is until you face near death.”
He once called himself a stubborn man.
He put it off for years and years: a crucial health screening for anyone, but especially for him.
“I was like the whole Macho Man thing,” said Jared. "But, my wife finally broke me down.”
After months of nagging, his wife Andrea finally got her husband to get a routine colonoscopy because colon cancer runs deep in Jared's family.
"It was just routine, but it was everything but,” she said.
His routine test revealed the worst.
“I had colon cancer,” said Jared.
He spent the next few days uncertain. Would he survive? Would he get to see his three children thrive?
"I don't know what my world would be like without him,” said Josie Lee, Jared’s daughter.
Luckily, Dr. Johnson at Gastro Arkansas caught the cancer just barely before it spread to other parts of Jared’s body.
"If I would have waited much longer, I’m talking a couple of months, it could have spread and I wouldn't be here today,” he said.
After months of treatment and the process of regaining strength, Jared found out this month he's finally cancer free.
It's his wife’s consistency, staff, and doctors that bring Jared to tears.
"I credit them for saving my life,” he said with tears falling down his face.
Days like Father's Day seem to have more value to the Lee family.
"I'm thankful for him to be here, and for the doctors to get all the cancer out,” said Logan Lee, Jared’s youngest daughter.
Angela hopes her husband’s story inspires other wives with stubborn husbands, too.
"Be vigilant,” she said. “Don't stop, keep at it until you get them to go. Their health is so important. Don’t let the stigma of getting a colonoscopy stop you. It’s not a fun process, but it’s much better than what I saw my husband go through.”
According to statistics from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, when colon cancer is diagnosed early, there’s a 90% chance for a cure.