Columbia native fighting brain cancer represents Team Navy at DoD Warrior Games

A Columbia native, and petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard, is now home after competing in the Department of Defense Warrior Games.

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — A Columbia native, and petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard, is now home after competing in the Department of Defense Warrior Games.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Cox first enlisted with the Coast Guard in 2008, and on one day in March of 2017, everything changed.

“I started to lose my vision, a little bit, and I went to the hospital to get it checked out and they found that I had brain cancer. I had two brain tumors,” said Jacob.

“You don’t want to see your child suffer or go through something, you’d rather take their place,” said his mother, Tammy Cox.

Jacob had surgery to remove 95% of the large tumor, but the smaller tumor was too risky to remove.

“The tumor caused me to lose all vision in my left eye, and my right eye probably lost about 85% of my vision,” he said.

Following surgery, Jacob underwent radiation and nine months of chemotherapy. Not letting his illness deter him, Jacob was introduced to adaptive sports and was invited to represent Team Navy at the Department of Defense Warrior Games.

“It’s just an amazing program that has changed hundreds of thousands of lives,” he said.

The games are similar to the Paralympics, but the athletes are servicemen and represent the different military branches. Jacob competed in five sports, receiving a medal in each event.

“Honestly, they could keep the medals. It was the experience, and the people that I met that made the experience what it was,” he said.

July marks one year since he finished chemo. For him, competing in the games has been a life-changing step in his recovery.

“Hopefully somebody’s watching and sees this story, and looks up the games, and says ‘man, I want to be a part of that’ and gets involved. Cause it is an amazing experience,” said Jacob.

Jacob is still going through treatments, he gets MRI’s every three months and regularly meets with his oncologist. He’s continuing to train, and hopes to compete in the games again next year.

For more information on the DoD Warrior Games, click here.

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