2013 Elite Series West Point Lake Battle West Point Lake - LaGrange, GA, May 2 - 5, 2013

The strength of Mike Jacobs

Don Barone
Mike Jacobs of Columbus, Ga.

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“You're back on your feet…”

Dateline:  West Point Lake, GA

Red hair and freckles,

he weighs almost nothing.

From the side, his backpack is twice as thick as his frame.

And yet, this 20-year-old child, is the strongest person I have met in a long time.

His name is Mike Jacobs.

With red hair and freckles, green eyes and white smile, he looked into my old tired blue and red eyes and told me, “I’m pretty content, with my life.”

“…pretty content…”

“…with my life…”

Five words that slammed around inside my head.

Red hair and freckles.

Green eyes and white smile.

And a rare form of cancer that may take his life.

“…knock the dust from your jeans…”

All around us, as I sit and talk to Mike, all around us anglers are talking about a rough day on the water, as Mike tells me about his even rougher days on land.

“I have Signet Ring Cell Adenocarcinoma Colon Cancer.”

This Signet Ring Cell stuff is very, very rare, only about 0.1% of all Adenocarcinoma is found to be of the Signet Ring Cell type.  “I had a lot of pain in my abdomen (as Mike says that he rubs his stomach); they did surgery and found the cancer in my colon.”

“When was that.”

“Last Thanksgiving.”

I don’t look up into the green eyes and freckles, I’m trying to stretch out writing “Last Thanksgiving” until I can compose myself.

“By the time they did surgery, it had spread to my stomach; they said I had stage 3 cancer.”

I don’t write that.


“They took out 2 feet of my colon.”

I just look up at him. To be honest I have no idea what to say, no questions to ask. I have just met the kid and I just want to hug him…