A potential tragedy shook the Jonas family last year. The father of the Jonas Brothers, former Disney boyband members Kevin, Joe, and Nick, battled colon cancer.
Now Kevin Jonas Sr. is in remission, and he's ready to share his story.
Jonas spoke to People about the diagnosis, how it strengthened his already tight family and the importance of cancer screenings.
On March 7, 2017, Jonas went to the doctor for his first colonoscopy. Doctors found a large mass in his colon that they suspected to be malignant.
“My entire life really flashed in front of me,” says Jonas, who was 52 at the time. “In that moment, I thought, ‘Have I lived a good life? Have I been good to my kids and my wife? Have I done right by people?'”
Three weeks later, doctors performed a surgery to remove the mass. Everyone's worst fears were confirmed: the mass was cancerous. Jonas had stage 2 colon cancer.
“Suddenly life felt short,” says the father of four.
He went on to receive chemotherapy for six months to prevent a recurrence.
The cancer brought his sons closer together. From the moment cancer became a possibility, all the Jonas Brothers Kevin, 30, Joe, 28, Nick, 25, and “Bonus Jonas” Frankie, 17 dropped their busy career and school schedules to support their father.
Jonas’s post-op prognosis was positive because the cancer was caught early, but People says it shook the family regardless.
“It was a really hard time—feeling like he wasn’t going to make it and not knowing what was ahead of us,” says Denise, his wife of 32 years.
Nick, who has his own solo film and music career added, “When I found out about my dad’s diagnosis, it was a balance of hope and real concern and fear. I pray that no one else ever has to go through that.”
The famous brothers continued to support their father through chemo, as well as complications from surgery, a polyp, an abscess, and a fistula.
“A situation like this makes you wake up and appreciate the ones around you,” says Joe, the lead singer of DNCE, who is engaged to Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, 21.
Kevin Jr. chimed in: “Just spending time together can be the best coping mechanism.”
And the cancer journey only strengthened that bond.
Their father certainly felt supported by his famous sons.
He said, “The boys showed me constantly—through texts, phone calls, visits—how much they love me,” says Jonas, who served as his sons' manager when they launched their music career in 2005.
Finally, on December 22nd, 2017, doctors declared Jonas in remission.
“I want to have more romance with my wife of 32 years, see my kids get married and watch my grandkids grow up,” says Jonas. He already has two grandchildren. Oldest son Kevin Jr. and his wife, Danielle, 31, have two daughters: Alena, 4, and Valentina, 15 months.
Jonas, who is a former pastor and opened a restaurant, Nellie’s Southern Kitchen, in Belmont, North Carolina, in 2016, wants to help others catch their cancer in time. Jonas is a new spokesperson for Fight CRC, a national advocacy group that raises awareness about the importance of early detection through screening.
“If you are 50 years or older and you haven’t been screened, the bottom line is you need to be screened. Don’t tell yourself, ‘I don’t have signs or symptoms so I can put this off another year,'” says Anjee Davis, Fight CRC President. “To ease anxiety, I point people to people like Kevin and Denise … It is very empowering for survivors and family members to use their stories to encourage each other and to remind people to be screened.”