At age 16, John Hillock was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia known as Philadelphia Chromosome-Positive (Ph+) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After undergoing a stem cell transplant at Akron Children’s Hospital’s Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, he has been cancer-free. Stem cells from his younger brother, Michael, were a perfect match for the transplant.
Growing up, John and Michael argued and fought like typical brothers. When it came time to choose a college, John went to Ohio State University, while Michael chose rival University of Michigan. And while they may cheer for opposite sides during the big game, they share a special bond because of the role Michael played in John’s recovery.
John, now 22, graduated from Ohio State in the spring of 2010 with a degree in finance. In January, he got hired as a field auditor for Sherwin Williams’ retail stores. He’s moving to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he will cover a territory that extends as far west as Las Vegas and as far north as Montana.
While John is excited to start his new job, he’s sad to leave behind the friends who were there for him during his illness.
“Three of my closest friends from high school were my college roommates and are still in Columbus,” he said.
Other friends are now scattered around the country, though none in Salt Lake City. His girlfriend, Jessie, lives in Indianapolis.
And although his parents are moving from Jackson Township to Washington, D.C., John will return to the area for an annual exam at Akron Children’s. He’s also looking forward to the LOPen Charity Golf Outing that benefits the Showers center – as a way to give back for the care he received, as well as visit with his friends at Akron Children’s Hospital.