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Medcalf: Minnesota’s ‘teen whisperer’ humbled by support he’s received during cancer fight

2021-09-25 19:53:13 –

Every morning, Jason Clopton gets up from his bed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and prays.

He prays for peace and prays for power. And just before he stands, he remembers praying for his friends and family.

Mental health counselor Cropton, a 36-year-old black man known as the “Teen Whisperer,” thinks about his loved ones, including his three daughters, his wife, and a young counselor in the fight against acute lymphocytic leukemia. According to the Mayo Clinic website (ALL), blood and bone marrow cancer. This week he begins the fourth round of chemotherapy for rare forms of cancer. His journey could continue the following year, a devastating event that forced him to suspend his vocation as his battle continued.

Clopton, accustomed to providing support to others, recently demonstrated his own vulnerabilities when discussing the next steps. I found his GoFundMe link When my friend shared it on Facebook. Clopton, who has devoted his life to helping others, said he needed help.

“It was really difficult for me, especially to put myself there,” he told me. “I can’t work for a year. I can’t make money in my family. I can’t contribute financially.”

But it didn’t take long for the donation to bring him closer to the $ 60,000 goal. Some gave $ 10. Others have given thousands. The Minnesotan community, impressed by his story, responded to the call. That made me smile.

At times, it feels like the whole place may be destroyed by all the challenges and divisions. But Clopton’s support made me think about what is possible when the humanity of the person in need is our only consideration.

“Every time I saw it, I shed tears. [the GoFundMe page]”Clopton said. Someone who doesn’t know me. Someone who is just kind, genuine, and really caring about others. It was heartwarming. It made me feel something deep in my soul. And I want to tell that to my girl — there are people out there who care. So don’t forget about those people. “

The Sheletta Makes Me Laugh Network’s Clopton podcast, The Teen Whisperer, advises parents trying to connect with a generation of teenagers in Minnesota who saw George Floyd’s murder on the iPhone during the 100-year-old pandemic. To do.

The people of the Clopton world deserve praise. Mental health professionals continue to connect our lives in the uncertainties and anxieties common to those diagnosed with cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, “African Americans have the highest mortality and shortest survival rates of any racial and ethnic group in the United States for most cancers,” and Cropton is fighting. The form of cancer is more treatable in children than in adults.

When I talked to Clopton, he revealed some of the challenges that so many cancer patients endure. Nausea, malaise. But he aims to focus on a good day.

We are both black fathers in their thirties, each raising three daughters. And we both have a connection to the world of sports. My 9-5 covered ESPN’s college basketball and Clopton played sports in high school and college. Not surprisingly, our circles are connected by this huge little town known as the Twin Cities.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Cropton returns and focuses on fostering parental relationships with young adults, especially BIPOC children who are often dismissed, ignored, or forgotten in conversations about mental health. I decided to hit it.

I have been a teenage father for the past four months. It’s an important step and I don’t always have the answer. Sometimes she finds me interesting. But she also finds me annoying, so she knows the value of Clopton’s job of teaching parents to understand their children and change them as needed.

“We’re starting to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health,” Clopton said in his podcast “Changing Your Childcare Style.” “That’s not a mistake. It’s part of our well-being. Mental health is wealth.”

For Clopton, it all happened very fast. A series of chest pains last year prompted multiple trips to an emergency room that did not receive the answer he was looking for. However, a few months ago, a biopsy after the discovery of a lump in the neck revealed a diagnosis of his cancer. He immediately began a treatment plan at the Mayo Clinic.

Most days he is there alone. The COVID protocol limits the number of people that can be visited, and his wife, Maria, alternates weekend trips with her mother, taking turns watching her children at her home in Maple Grove.

However, he uses social media and FaceTime to stay connected to his spiritualized community.

In his loneliness, he concentrates himself and tries to stabilize his mind. But when he is worried — about his family and the young people who need him — he comforts him and looks back at him to a hopeful stranger.

“I have uplifted myself,” he said. “But I was also uplifted by my community, my family and my village. It was a great blessing to experience this test of faith.”

Myron Medcalf is a Star Tribune local columnist and ESPN’s national writer and radio host. His column is printed twice a month on Sunday and is also displayed online.

myron.medcalf@startribune.com Twitter: @MedcalfByESPN

Medcalf: Minnesota’s ‘teen whisperer’ humbled by support he’s received during cancer fight Source link Medcalf: Minnesota’s ‘teen whisperer’ humbled by support he’s received during cancer fight

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