News 12 at This Morning / Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Pastor Greg Porterfield reached out to Steve Jobs when he was handed the same cancer diagnosis as Jobs. For Pastor Porterfield, it was a shot in the dark if Jobs would get back to him, but he wanted to try everything to improve his treatment.
A man of great faith, Porterfield didn't waver one bit when he learned six years ago he had a rare form of pancreatic cancer.
"When they realized it was an odd cancer called neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer," he said. "That's the same kind of disease Steve Jobs has."
He didn't think anything of that connection at first, after one major surgery he was hoping to get better, but 18 months later the cancer traveled to his lungs. Porterfield needed surgery again.
This time he wanted more information.
"Look, I know Steve Jobs has this. I have to think he has some people that dealt with this, I don't care what you have to do I'm going into surgery tomorrow. I need you to get him," is what Porterfield requested to one of his church members.
Pastor of missions at his church, Pat Williams, was tasked with tracking down Jobs.
"I wasn't quite sure how I was going to make that happen," she explained. "We all know Steve Jobs is a pretty important man."
After researching Apple and searching online she found a fax number and wrote a letter to send to Jobs' office.
"I knew I had to try everything," Porterfield said.
"That is truly what we wanted from Mr. Jobs that day in that letter. Just information who is your doctor? Where do you go?" Williams said.
Her plea for more information caught Jobs' eye.
"He says, 'Pat, this is Steve, Steve Jobs.' I said, 'Mr. Jobs, thank you so much for calling," Pat remembered
With that phone call, they started gathering information to help Porterfield with his treatment. Jobs made it possible for Porterfield to meet with his doctor in San Francisco.
"Things like cancer sort of cut away all this stuff the barriers we put between each other," Porterfield said.
Now Portfield can relate his own journey to his congregation and others in our area diagnosed with the same rare disease.