Jake Burton Carpenter and his Warrior Mindset
“A Paper Trail: The Jake Burton Carpenter Interview”, conducted by Pat Bridges, was published in the September issue of Snowboarder magazine. The interview covers Jake’s high school days, the conception of Burton Snowboards, the early years of snowboarding, the future of Burton Snowboarding, and the future of the sport. However, the true heart and soul of the interview occurs when Pat and Jake discuss his recent health issues.
In the past couple of years Jake has had a string of health scares involving open heart surgery, being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2012, a full knee replacement, and most recently being diagnosed with Miller Fisher Syndrome. In the interview Jake recalls being diagnosed with testicular cancer just months after having heart surgery and the horrors of his chemotherapy treatment. Jake said, “I was fine after the first treatment and then all of a sudden it hit me. I violently puked and I had so much diarrhea I cut my ass…The effects of chemotherapy just got worse and worse and worse. The quality of life was horrible.” After beating cancer, Jake then later had a full knee replacement. The amazing feat from his knee surgery was that 3 weeks after the replacement, Jake was snowboarding at the Burton Open.
These events take us to the most recent and most significant health issue, his diagnoses of Miller Fisher Syndrome which left his entire body in temporary paralysis for nearly two months in 2015. A little background on Miller Fisher is that it is a type of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Miller Fisher is an extremely rare disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. Once diagnosed the doctors told Jake he would all lose motor function over the course of three days and it went exactly how the docs said it would. Jake was on full life support for two months in an ICU at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with his only outlet being able to scribble notes. In the interview, Jake reminiscences on his darkest hours, “There are a lot of people that live with being suicidal, but even that became completely normal. I never saw a way out… I am convinced you just slip away… It is like falling asleep, because I was there on the edge for so long.”
Now a days Jake is on the mend from Miller Fisher and has even resumed snowboarding again. Jake’s perseverance and warrior mentality has been ruining through his veins since an early age. It was this mindset that allowed him to achieve the success he has with Burton and also in growing the sport. And it was this mindset that has allowed him to beat all his recent health hurdles. Jake Burton Carpenter is the warrior legend of snowboarding!
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