At the time, his mother, Yvonne Novy-Cutler, a cheerfully sarcastic, British-born advocate for families with special needs children, says she tried to temper her son’s reaction.
“He said, ‘Mum, they think I have syphilis.’ I said, ‘Ok…. What have you been doing?!’” Novy’s mom recalls. “He said, ‘No, they’re wrong. I have leukemia.’ I told him, ‘Hold on, Josh. You’re not a doctor yet. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here.' ”
Following his gut instinct, Novy defied his doctor’s protocol and his mother’s advice. It’s lucky he did. (If a cancer diagnosis can ever be considered lucky.)