Benefit set in Jamestown for man diagnosed with testicular cancer
A spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Jenna and Jared Schultz, who are from Jamestown and live in Fargo, is from 5-7 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Club 1883 in Jamestown.
It was the day before Jenna and Jared Schultz’s wedding in San Diego in October 2021 when Jared felt pain in his testicle. Schultz would have another episode of the pain on the plane back to North Dakota.
Then he would have another on Thanksgiving morning, noticing the pain had gotten a lot worse.
The Schultzes, who are from Jamestown but live in Fargo, said Jared went in for his annual physical and brought up the pain to a doctor, which led him to get an ultrasound in December. He would get chest X-rays and computed tomography scans at the Sanford Health Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo.
“The next day we were referred to a urologist to go over everything and what his thoughts were,” Jenna said. “He was pretty sure it (a mass) was cancerous but knew it just needed to be removed.”
Jared, 25, would have surgery two days after going in for his annual physical to remove the mass that was found. Jenna said the entire testicle was removed and sent off for testing.
“They weren’t entirely sure so then they ended up sending the pathology off to Mayo (Clinic) in the Cities (Rochester, Minnesota),” she said.
About two weeks later, they received the news that Jared had testicular cancer.
“ I was kind of shook up a little bit because hearing the word cancer kind of scares the heck out of a guy,” Jared said. “When you think of the word cancer, a lot of people think of death.”
Jared said his grandfather had lung cancer and went through chemotherapy. He said the lung cancer went away but came back and his grandfather eventually passed away.
A spaghetti dinner fundraiser will be held for the Schultzes from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Club 1883 in Jamestown. There will be a silent auction and bake sale at the event.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will help them with medical and other expenses that they will incur over the next several months.
Doctors were optimistic that the cancer was removed during his surgery, but during a three-month checkup in March, doctors discovered the cancer had spread to lymph nodes in his chest and abdominal area. Jared said he did not feel anything abnormal during the three months after his surgery.
“After surgery, he felt completely normal,” Jenna said. “We feel lucky and thankful that they do those checkups so quickly and so frequently.”
Jared began his first of three rounds of chemotherapy on April 19, which is expected to include at least 15 inpatient days in the hospital. Each chemotherapy cycle, which is being done in Fargo, is 21 days.
He completed his first round of chemotherapy with a few side effects, according to the Schultzes' GoFundMe page.
Jared is unable to work during his chemotherapy because of the elevated risk of infection and compromised lung function from the treatment. He works construction and does painting on the side.
“Just between the weather, the dust fumes, paint fumes, whatever the case may be, it’s just not good for any healthy person probably, but especially someone going through that,” Jenna said. “For sure, (he will be unable to work) throughout the whole duration of chemo and I’m sure he will need some time to recover after the fact as well.”
Jared’s employer doesn’t offer short- or long-term disability. He thought he might have a week of paid time off to use but was told he had to be employed with his employer for a year just to start accruing PTO.
He has been out of work for about a month and a half up to this point with more time off expected after chemotherapy is complete.
“One of the chemo drugs he is on is very hard on his lungs,” Jenna said. “We have to do a monthly lung function test to make sure they are staying normal.”
Jared said more pressure is put onto his wife with him being out of work with just doing daily tasks like cleaning around the house. He said Jenna’s mother, Kellie Gergen, has been very helpful throughout the process.
“If she needs to come and stay for five days or a week or however long, we can call her and she is here to help,” he said. “Now fast forwarding, when I have to go away for six days inpatient it is putting a lot of pressure on her, but her mom usually comes and stays for the week duration to help Jenna and help me with whatever I need, if it is company or anything like that.”
Jenna also recently gave birth to their daughter, Iylah, on April 29.
“She was expected to be born May 13, but she decided to come a couple weeks early,” Jenna said. “We said maybe she knew dad needed some motivation and some sunshine to help him get through it.”
Jenna is on maternity leave for six weeks where she will get paid but not as much as she would if she was working.
They said the medical bills plus gas to get to Jared’s appointments are adding up.
“It didn’t take long to get almost to double digits,” he said.
They will also incur costs related to fertility preservation.
If you go
What: Spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Jared and Jenna Schultz
When: 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 13.
Where: Club 1883, 519 1st Ave. S, Jamestown
Cost/details: freewill donation for all-you-can-eat spaghetti and garlic bread. A silent auction and bake sale will be held at the event. Donated items for the silent auction includes an autographed Carson Wentz jersey.
Donations can also be made to Jared and Jenna Schultz's GoFundMe page at https://bit.ly/37vy83y.