Spirit of University of Iowa student lives on after death - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Spirit of University of Iowa student lives on after death

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John "Jake" Dibel had just finished his sophomore year at the University of Iowa when he died June 9th, following a two-year battle with cancer.

A Linn-Mar graduate, Jake was diagnosed with testicular cancer just weeks after graduation before he was set to attend Iowa. Though his treatment delayed the process, it wouldn't be enough to keep him away from attending school.

Jake attended Iowa on a full scholarship. He hoped to get a doctorate in pharmacology and plant-based science to help with new treatments for cancer and other diseases.

"His treatment made him quite sick, on a daily basis and he had terrible neuropathy that made it difficult to walk and write sometimes and yet he hardly ever missed class," Jana Dibel, Jake's mother, said.

Through it all, all of the treatments and surgeries, Jake kept with it. In his first semester, earning a 4.0 GPA. He was on pace to repeat that in his second semester before having two strokes in late April, weeks before the end of the school year.

Though Jake lost his battle with cancer, his parents hope his story can motivate others to give back saying blood donations were vital to his treatment and that he would have to sometimes wait until there was enough blood for him. They say bone marrow donations are also important.

"Just think how amazing you'll feel if you find, if you're a match for somebody  who's been waiting and waiting and we know as parents there is nothing we wouldn't have done to save Jake's life and to have him here," Jana said.

Jake gave his all in life and now he's giving back when he can after his death. There will be no funeral for him, that's because he chose to donate his body to the University of Iowa's Deeded program for medical students.

A celebration of life for Jake will be held on Friday, July 7th, at Lake MacBride's State Park's Main Lodge in Solon.

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