PORTLAND, Ore. -- His name is David Jackson but he’s better known to fans as DJ O.G. One.
For nine seasons, Jackson has been the Portland Trail Blazers disc jockey, keeping players and fans hyped with his custom music mixes before and during home games.
“It all comes down to either sight or touch,” said Jackson, 51. “Seeing the playlists and feeling the machine.”
Two senses that in large part, Jackson is suddenly without.
On March 14, doctors at Providence Portland Medical Center removed a cancerous tumor from Jackson's rectum after he was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer. Jackson scheduled the surgery during a long Blazers road trip, hoping to be back with the team soon. After surgery, he realized things would not go as planned.
“All I could remember after coming to, was I had no vision,” said Jackson. “And from my shoulder to my right hand, I could feel nothing.”
Jackson spent the next 10 days in the hospital. He said doctors are still working to identify what caused the side effects.
Since surgery, Jackson said he’s regained small bits of peripheral vision in his right eye but can only detect faint movement in his left eye. He doesn't know when he'll be back with the Blazers or at his day job—Jackson works with the Multnomah Education Services District, helping youth coming out of incarceration. He says all of his bosses have been supportive, but it’s still hard.
“When you do something you're so passionate about and then it gets taken from you without your choice, it's agonizing.”
For now, the father of six is leaning on his family and his faith for support.
“I'm just going to have faith that everything's going to go back to normal,” said Jackson’s son, Tim. “I just gotta pray.”
Jackson’s son, David, said he’s proud of his father’s generous spirit.
“From as early on as long as I can remember, my life has just been seen him giving to others and setting a great example giving back to the community,” said David.
Jackson's friends started a GoFundMe account to help. Their love and support are two things Jackson said he can definitely see and feel.
“Just the calls and the prayers that people have had, I truly felt that,” said Jackson. “I think it's the thing that has allowed me to keep my spirits up.”