fbpx Skip to content

One Mother’s Uplifting Journey to Defeating Childhood Cancer (ep. 198)

Dr. April Jones

John O’Leary welcomes Dr. April Jones to the Live Inspired Podcast as she shares her uplifting story of turning her pain into purpose.

How do we react when an unwanted diagnosis appears? Or when adversity arises with a child, a loved one or for ourselves? How do we move forward with compassion, courage, love, respect, possibility, and certainty that the best remains in front of us?

Dr. April Jones holds many professional credentials. Yet it’s her personal journey that makes her an authority on transforming pain into purpose. Before her son’s 2nd birthday, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer… and April + her husband were faced with an agonizing, life-changing decision.

April’s heartfelt journey + uplifting story is sure to help those seeking to turn struggle into strength!

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyStitcher, Google Play, iHeartRadio or listen here:


  • At 16 years old, April met future husband Billy. He offered encouragement when she wasn’t sure if she believed in herself + they had similar goals and sense of adventure to grow as a person outside of their small town
  • Embracing change: Billy and her married at 19 + unexpectedly became pregnant 3 months later.
  • “We can always learn from our feelings, even if we don’t like them. We control how we react to situations.”
  • Tyler’s cancer: Her oldest son was almost 2 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer.
  • February 2, 2004: April makes the life-changing decision to amputate Tyler’s leg, and cancer, to achieve full remission.
  • “Sometimes it takes losing everything we thought was important to us to find that we have everything we actually need. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we will force ourselves to finally look up.”
  • Some of their greatest supporters were a couple named Todd + Dawn. After losing their son to cancer, they supported other families dealing with life-threatening childhood illnesses and became an inspiration to many families.
  • Little reminders were helpful + impactful:
    • Support through First Baptist Church in South Haven was a reminder that they weren’t alone in Tyler’s fight.
    • The support from the community celebrating Tyler’s life during his Make-a-Wish grant was life-changing.
  • Advice for others in a similar situation: Have hope. Allow yourself the freedom to feel what you feel + know that’s okay.
  • “Life is fleeting. Just like the good moments are fleeting, so are the bad.”
  • “At some point, what your current situation is, is going to be the story that inspires someone else or helps you relate to someone else so that they can listen to what you have to say.”
  • Tyler was 2018 Paralympic High School All American for Track and Field.
  • “How someone treats you says nothing at all about you and everything about them.”
  • “Whether you are proud of where you came from, ashamed of it or pretend it does not matter, you either let where you came from propel you forward or hold you back. But the good thing is this: you get to choose.”
  • Get a copy of Dr. April Jone’s book No Mess, No Message here.

Are you or someone you know dealing with expected diagnosis or illness? We’ve compiled Live Inspired Podcast guests that are living inspired after cancer or other serious illness has affected their lives. Listen to the Cancer + Illness playlist here.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? The Shack by William Paul Young.

[William Paul Young was a guest on the Live Inspired Podcast! Listen to my conversation with him on ep. 19.]

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Imagine without analyzing.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? My first little diamond necklace on this delicate chain with a handwritten note from my grandmother that says, “A little something special for someone special.”

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? If Jesus is not an option, Oprah.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? My friend Julia said, “What’s the worsT that could happen? What are you worried that could be the worst outcome of this decision on each side? How would you deal with that situation if it happened?”

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Regardless of what happens, you’re going to be OK.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? She sparkled.


Did you enjoy today’s episode? Subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts!

Live Inspired with John daily on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInPinterest, Instagram+ get his Monday Motivation email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *