Former U.S. Open director survives cancer after Vietnam wounds

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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Jay Snyder is living his life with purpose after facing war and cancer.

purple-heartPeople who have been diagnosed with cancer very often say it's the game changer.  Cancer is the big "C" -- the most significant aspect of their lives.  They start with fear, wondering whether they will live or die.   If that person survives cancer, they often view life differently.  Some are inspired to live each day to the fullest and experience everything they've always wanted to, while others just relish being able to spend more time with family and friends.  (pictured at top: Prostate cancer survivors Thomas Goodman, Jr. and Jay Snyder)

Jay Snyder, a Harrisburg resident, is a prostate cancer survivor.   But cancer may have or may not have been his biggest challenge.  Jay wet off to war when his name was number one on the draft list.  He was wounded in Vietnam and came under fire in combat often.  He came home and recovered from his wounds.

Also on the program is Dr. Ronald Hempling, Director of Oncology Services at WellSpan Health.  Dr. Hempling shares expert wisdom on cancer, diagnosis, treatment and life after cancer treatment is done.

LISTEN to the program:


us-open-tennisLike many men who fought in Vietnam, Jay was exposed to large quantities of Agent Orange, which is now linked to prostate cancer.  He watched his PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests closely and the numbers kept creeping up.  He heard the words “You have cancer.”  But he faced it head on, underwent treatments, and is now celebrating the fact that he is cancer-free.

Jay went on to officiate many tennis tournaments including Wimbledon, and The French Open.  Then, he became the director of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship.  Today he lives in the Harrisburg area and inspires others with his story.

Family is what matters most to him today.  He plans on spending quality time with them, and plans on seeing more of the world.  He also wants to give back, as he feels he has been granted “free time.”

In what ways has cancer been a game changer in your own life? Were there other trials you endured that makes you who you are today?  Please leave a comment to share your perspective.

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