In December 2012, Janesa Negron was competing at the World’s Cheerleading Competition in Orlando, Florida, when she began to feel dizzy during practice. Over the next few days, she became exhausted, irritable, and didn’t feel like eating. When she returned home from the competition, she was still more tired than usual and had a constant headache. Her family doctor originally told her it was just the flu, but several tests later discovered that she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). She immediately began treatment at Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic.
For the last two years, Janesa has been fighting for her life. After a long journey, the 14-year-old has begun her final three-week cycle of chemotherapy and is doing better than ever. While in the final stages of treatment, Janesa joined the Jimmy Fund as the face of Rally for the Jimmy Fund presented by Next Step Living®.
At the Rally for the Jimmy Fund kickoff event, Janesa reflected on her time at the Jimmy Fund Clinic. She told those in attendance about her trip to Spring Training with other Jimmy Fund Clinic teens, where she got to meet Boston Red Sox Second Baseman, Dustin Pedroia. Among the many memories she shared, Janesa described a particular moment that stuck out to her:
“When you go to Spring Training with the Jimmy Fund Clinic, you get to sit with kids who have had a similar experience as you. You forget that you are sick and it’s like hanging out with friends.”
Now in the ninth grade, Janesa continues to cheerlead, but also loves playing the piano and hanging out with her four sisters. Her family is incredibly thankful for the care that she has received at the Jimmy Fund Clinic.
As a patient partner for Rally for the Jimmy Fund, Janesa and her family will represent a Red Sox and Jimmy Fund Opening Day tradition. Their involvement in Rally for the Jimmy Fund will also help communicate how funds raised through the program impact Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s mission to conquer cancer
“We are so grateful to be asked to participate in this event−it’s our way of giving back,” said Janesa’s mom, Deanna. “The situation you are in is just so traumatic and the Clinic goes out of their way to help you. When you are with them, you never feel like ‘just a patient’ but rather a family friend.”
Celebrate Fenway’s Opening Day with Dustin and Janesa! Join Rally for the Jimmy Fund presented by Next Step Living® and wear your Red Sox gear to work or school on April 13.
Associate Director, Development Communications