2020 Youth Representative
Connecting with other young people in the community
A Youth Representative for the Lobo Cancer Challenge has their own experience with childhood or young adult cancer. With a story to tell, they want to encourage other young people and their families on their journey after diagnosis, and to marshal other young people to #UniteAgainstCancer!
Tyler Jenson, 17, attended La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, and will graduate from Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho. He likes to play football and compete in Track and Field. This physically active teen worked as a lifeguard during his summer break. Tyler says, “Sports and outdoor activities have always been a huge part of my life. I love to fly fish, snowboard, mountain bike, golf, and build things.”
“When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Being a young active teen, I was hit hard [when I was told] that now I had to take it easy and could not do some of the things I loved. Due to the fact that I don’t always do what I am told, I was constantly making the most out of my situation,” he continues.
“I would ride my IV pole down the hospital parking garage, I would go snowboarding before my chemo treatments, and would try and go to school to see my friends. Being so active and doing the things I loved really helped me keep my head up during the hard times that the illness brought me.”
Tyler received support for finding his own way:
“What motivates me to join the Lobo Cancer Challenge is the fact that no matter what is going on in your life, you can always find a way to feel free and be that energetic kid again.
The support from my friends, family, and hospital staff really helped me embrace that I was going to be okay and I could still do the things I love so deeply.
“Having cancer may put limitations on what you can do, but it doesn't define the person you truly are.”
Tyler brings the Cancer Killer to La Cueva High School football team spirit.
- View a recent interview with Tyler as he talks about surviving a cancer diagnosis at 15.
- Tyler shares that “My team, my family, and the community in general helped me fight for something greater than myself,” in the Albuquerque Journal in April 2019.
- Childhood Cancer Awareness, UNM Health Sciences Newsroom