1 in 1400: Jeremiah Johnson

After losing his mother at age five and surviving a brain tumor at age thirteen, junior Jeremiah Johnson shares what he says to be “the best his life has ever been.”


NE: What sets you apart from other kids at Northwest?

JJ: I had a brain tumor from ages 9 to 13, I can still feel it sometimes. I have a mini heart attack almost everyday because it feels like I have a nose bleed and I think the tumor is back.

NE: Do you remember anything from when you had cancer?

JJ: Um…I remember waking up in a lot of pain, and finding out my dad was coming to see me after I hadn’t seen him in a year and a half, and I started talking cause my mouth was sewn shut and my grandma comes over and slaps me across the face because my face had newly been sewn on, and she wanted me to stop talking so I could heal. I remember that one. I was on some hard core pain killers and it still hurt. I think there was a like a single tear.

NE: You said you can still feel the tumor sometimes, what do you mean?

JJ: Sometimes I lose vision in my right eye if I get too cold, and like I said it feels like sometimes I will get nosebleeds and I will think the tumor is back.

NE: So how much did you miss out on because of the tumor?

JJ: About 75 percent of the first semester of my junior year, I attended 44 days of my freshmen year, and only missed two days my sophomore year.

NE: Who do you live with?

JJ: My grandma. I got all my morals from her. When my mom was in the hospital she told my grandma “please take care of my son.” I have no blood relation to my grandma but she still took care of me. She always used to buy me clothes and send me food and stuff. She saved my life.