Shalom Y’all! My name is Yisahar Aaron Izak. I’m 46 years old, serving in the United States Army, currently assigned to Soldier Recovery Unit, in transition to retire following optimal care for my new condition, rhabdomyosarcoma which I was diagnosed with on October 30, 2022. My family and I live in Puyallup, WA. This diagnosis came out of nowhere after 29 years of serving the public as a professional and a volunteer in several branches of public safety, humanitarian aid, ministry, and military service in different capacities across five continents. A steep decline in my health for six months, clouded with my pre-existing conditions of TBI, PTSD, and three hip conditions, yielded imaging that revealed the sarcomadiagnosis at the end. I have been an athleteand a dancer, a physically and mentally active, socially engaging individual for most of my life. My body took a more significant toll in treatments than most average patients. About 20 days of the month, I spend, at best, semi-ambulatory trying to manage symptoms in response to the side effects of the treatment. I loved spending time physically outdoors, traveling, and photography which I am limited at for the moment. I am fortunate to have a fulfilling, resourceful, and loving family life with my wife Tamar and our eight children for the past 19 years. We have two daughters and six sons between the ages of 5-18, and our two pet sons, Shmulik (Rabbi Bernard) and Yoni (Alaskan Klei Kai.) Fortunately, my background in psychospiritual counseling and loving family structure enabled me to reframe and repurpose my warrior archetype into creation via expressionism, performance arts, writing and poetry, and research in the humanities, social sciences, and theology.
Nevertheless, I have a long road ahead, a steep, rough terrain. On top of the three pre-existing medical conditions, and still looking at chemotherapy for five more months, along with two months of radiotherapy and pending surgery decisions on the way. My family and I focus on the future with hope and prayer to regain my health. Unfortunately, insurance does not fully cover the full extent of available care. However, I am grateful for the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation and so many other unique organizations that raise funds for treatment and research for sarcoma patients like me.