TAMPA, Fla. — Jason Balk served eight years in the U.S. Air Force. As a combat medic, he took care of his fellow soldiers. He served one tour in Afghanistan, stationed at a small forward operating base in the Paktika province on the border with Pakistan.

After retiring from the Air Force, Balk worked as a lab tech at VA Bay Pines Healthcare System. In 2021, he began noticing rashes on his body. He was tired a lot. And as a man who was never sick, he knew something was wrong. In April 2021, at age 36, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

Balk began treatment immediately, spending a few days at the VA hospital before being transferred to Moffitt Cancer Center. He completed a 10-day regimen of 24-hour-a-day chemotherapy. He then transitioned to outpatient chemo treatments for the next four months. Although he was feeling better, a biopsy revealed that he needed a bone marrow transplant.

He got one from his brother and nearly a year later, he remains in solid remission.

During Moffitt’s sixth annual Veterans Day celebration, Balk will be presented with a plaque recognizing him for his service to our country.

The Veterans Day tribute also includes team member Latanya Scott singing the national anthem, with the USF Air Force ROTC Color Guard raising the flag. Nurse Sarah Hart will be the master of ceremonies for the event.

The Veterans Day tribute will also include a special musical performance by the Copper Silver and Brass Trombone Ensemble.

Media Opportunity

WHAT: Moffitt honors all U.S. military veterans during Veterans Day ceremony

WHEN: 8:30 – 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11          

WHERE: Stabile Research Building Auditorium at Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 USF Magnolia Drive

B ROLL: Watch video from the 2021 ceremony            

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 53 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 7,800 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.4 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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