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Tami: It was probably about 2010 when I first noticed things weren't quite right.

Onscreen text: Tami

Mark: I was living a pretty healthy life… until one day I just noticed I was bleeding without any cuts or anything like that.

Onscreen text: Mark

Donna: There was just this underlying feeling within me that said, something hasn't been uncovered yet.

Onscreen text: Donna

Onscreen text: THE PURPLE CHAIR

EPISODE 1: How Our Journeys Began


Tami: I had started having horrible migraine headaches…I mean, we're talking a duration of three days sometimes.

Donna: I called a local nurse practitioner and said “I'm not myself. I need lab work.”


Mark: I could feel discomfort in my spleen area. I could actually feel it, so I knew something was wrong.

Donna: I decided the next day to call the office. There was just this burning desire for me to find the answer to this mysterious illness.


Mark: She started questioning me about symptoms …the dry, itchy skin, the, uh, tingling in the extremities, especially my toes, um, shortness of breath or fatigue.

Tami: I was having the itching… was having the night sweats…I couldn't eat in the same way…like if I were to go order a sandwich, I was lucky if I could finish half of it.

Chuck: I went for my physical—my annual physical—and uh 2 days later my doctor called me and told me that my red cell count was very much elevated, and we have to do some more tests.

Onscreen text: Chuck

Tami: My numbers had come back really, really high.

Donna: My doctor said "I want you to come in." I knew that something was about to be different with my life.


Tami: Now at this point, I had no clue what was going on. He was saying these words I’ve never heard before. He was talking about, you know, MPNs. I didn’t know what any of these names meant.

Tami: And he said, "These are types of rare blood cancers. I shut down right then, I was like, whoa, wait a minute.

Onscreen text: Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a group of rare, chronic blood cancers.

Tami: Well, all of a sudden, things seem to start like in an avalanche because…all I heard was oncologist.

Chuck: I said, “Why do I need to see an oncologist? Is this cancer?”

Donna: You immediately start thinking about…How many years, how many months? That's hard, that's really hard.

Donna: I have grandbabies. I want to go to graduations. I want to be on the front row when they get married.


Mark: After my MRI came back she told me that I had MF. I can’t really describe how I felt.

Onscreen text: Mark was diagnosed with intermediate-risk myelofibrosis (MF) in 2017.

Mark: She told me sports is over as you know it, any contact sports, which for me was a shock. I'm a coach …and sports is a big part of my life.

Onscreen text: Myelofibrosis (MF) is a rare, chronic blood cancer of the bone marrow. The bone marrow is the material inside the bone where blood cells are made.

Tami: I was like, OK, what's that? I was terrified.

Onscreen text: Tami was diagnosed with high-risk MF in 2015.

Tami: I didn't want to believe that I had cancer. I didn't like that word.

Chuck: He said this is probably a disease called polycythemia vera.

Onscreen text: Chuck was diagnosed with polycythemia vera (PV) in 2014.

Onscreen text: Polycythemia vera (PV) is a rare, chronic blood cancer. In PV, a person’s body makes too many red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets.

Chuck: Ironically, I had the disease for probably 15 months before I actually realized it was a cancer.

Tami: I honestly believed for a while it was a mistake. I thought they're going to find out, that's not what I’ve got.

Donna: I became so lonely and thought, you know…are these the cards that are dealt for me?

Onscreen text: Donna was diagnosed with PV in 2020.

Donna: And you know, people just don't know what to say, I'm the rock for people. And so to see me in this shape. It was hard for my circle.


Mark: I just decided to tackle it the way I do everything else…go straight in and deal with it.

Donna: My mom has always taught me that…you have a rope in life, you tie a knot on it, even if you're at the end of it, and you just hang on.

Tami: I pulled my car into in the parking lot. I cranked up the music. I sat there, and I cried for five minutes. And then I turn the music down, turned the car off, and I said, OK, we're going to get on with life now. I am going to find out what this thing I am fighting with is, and I'm going to find out a way to move forward.

Onscreen text: NEXT EPISODE

Finding a Path Forward

Onscreen text: Brought to you by Jakafi® (ruxolitinib)


Onscreen text and narrator: Jakafi® (ruxolitinib) is the first FDA-approved prescription medicine for adults with PV who have already taken a medicine called hydroxyurea (HU) and it did not work well enough or they could not tolerate it. Jakafi is also the first FDA-approved prescription medicine for adults with intermediate or high-risk MF.

Onscreen text and narrator: Important Safety Information

Jakafi can cause serious side effects, including:

Low blood counts: Jakafi® (ruxolitinib) may cause low platelet, red blood cell, and white blood cell counts. If you develop bleeding, stop taking Jakafi and call your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will do a blood test to check your blood counts before you start Jakafi and regularly during your treatment. Your healthcare provider may change your dose of Jakafi or stop your treatment based on the results of your blood tests. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you develop or have worsening symptoms such as unusual bleeding, bruising, tiredness, shortness of breath, or a fever.

Infection: You may be at risk for developing a serious infection during treatment with Jakafi. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any of the following symptoms of infection: chills, nausea, vomiting, aches, weakness, fever, painful skin rash or blisters.

Cancer: Some people have had certain types of non-melanoma skin cancers during treatment with Jakafi. Your healthcare provider will regularly check your skin during your treatment with Jakafi. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any new or changing skin lesions during treatment with Jakafi.

Increases in cholesterol: You may have changes in your blood cholesterol levels during treatment with Jakafi. Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check your cholesterol levels about every 8 to 12 weeks after you start taking Jakafi, and as needed.

Increased risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or death in people who have cardiovascular risk factors and who are current or past smokers while using another JAK inhibitor to treat rheumatoid arthritis: Get emergency help right away if you have any symptoms of a heart attack or stroke while taking Jakafi, including: discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back, severe tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw, pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach, shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or vomiting, feeling lightheaded, weakness in one part or on one side of your body, slurred speech

Increased risk of blood clots: Blood clots in the veins of your legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT) or lungs (pulmonary embolism, PE) have happened in people taking another JAK inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis and may be life-threatening. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs and symptoms of blood clots during treatment with Jakafi, including: swelling, pain, or tenderness in one or both legs, sudden, unexplained chest or upper back pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Possible increased risk of new (secondary) cancers: People who take another JAK inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of new (secondary) cancers, including lymphoma and other cancers. People who smoke or who smoked in the past have an added risk of new cancers.

The most common side effects of Jakafi include: for certain types of myelofibrosis (MF) and polycythemia vera (PV) – low platelet or red blood cell counts, bruising, dizziness, headache, and diarrhea; for acute GVHD – low platelet counts, low red or white blood cell counts, infections, and swelling; and for chronic GVHD – low red blood cell or platelet counts and infections including viral infections.

These are not all the possible side effects of Jakafi. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for more information. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Before taking Jakafi, tell your healthcare provider about: all the medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking and all your medical conditions, including if you have an infection, have or had low white or red blood cell counts, have or had tuberculosis (TB) or have been in close contact with someone who has TB, had shingles (herpes zoster), have or had hepatitis B, have or had liver or kidney problems, are on dialysis, have high cholesterol or triglycerides, had cancer, are a current or past smoker, had a blood clot, heart attack, other heart problems or stroke, or have any other medical condition. Take Jakafi exactly as your healthcare provider tells you. Do not change your dose or stop taking Jakafi without first talking to your healthcare provider.

Women should not take Jakafi while pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Do not breastfeed during treatment with Jakafi and for 2 weeks after the final dose.

Please see the Full Prescribing Information at, which includes a more complete discussion of the risks associated with Jakafi.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

You may also report side effects to Incyte Medical Information at 1-855-463-3463.

Onscreen text: LEARN MORE ABOUT JAKAFI® (ruxolitinib)


This video is sponsored by Incyte Corporation. Jakafi and the Jakafi logo are registered trademarks of Incyte.

© 2022, Incyte Corporation. MAT-JAK-01148  02/22


How Our Journeys Began

How does it feel to learn that you have a rare, chronic blood cancer? Go back to the very beginning with Chuck, Donna, Mark, and Tami. Hear from these real patients with polycythemia vera who have already taken a medicine called hydroxyurea and it did not work well enough or they could not tolerate it or with intermediate or high-risk myelofibrosis. Find out how their journeys began.

We’re Saving a Seat, Just for You

Your story could help educate and inspire others. Learn how you can join a growing network of Incyte Mentors by becoming an Ambassador for Jakafi.