DeJesus continues support of sarcoma outreach
Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare cancer that attacks the bones and soft tissue. David DeJesus had a cousin pass away from the disease last year. The Royals outfielder has since looked to raise awareness and provide support for those afflicted with sarcoma, which has a survival rate of just 30 percent.
On Saturday, DeJesus met 23-year old sarcoma patient Jennifer Steinmann at the Plaza Tennis Center. Jennifer was in town as a special guest at the USTA Pro Circuit tournament. David talked with Jennifer’s family and presented her with an autographed bat.
Fighting sarcoma is not new to Jennifer. She beat the disease in high school after being diagnosed at age 14. Jennifer went on to graduate from Creighton University in Omaha. She took a terrific job as a pediatric nurse at the National Institute of Health in Maryland. One day, she had a back ache – then she noticed a small lump. The cancer had returned. She battled through surgery and chemotherapy as tumors appeared in her lungs and on her spine. Jennifer continues to fight the struggles of sarcoma, though her prognosis has improved.
Jennifer played tennis as a youth and her interest in the sport has been an outlet during her cancer fight. DeJesus and the Steinmann family went out to the tennis courts after their initial conversation. Jennifer tossed the coin before one of the semifinal matches while DeJesus met with kids who had participated in a tennis clinic that morning.
An adult gathered the kids for a picture and introduced DeJesus simply as David. One of the kids exclaimed, “Are you David DeJesus, are you David DeJesus?” The easy-going outfielder smiled and said yes. He was on a tennis court instead of a baseball diamond, but it was clear that he was in another comfort zone – community outreach. He had made an impact on multiple fronts on a cool Saturday morning in Kansas City.
(Special thanks to Laura Fitzgibbons/ Fitzgibbons Photography)
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To see pictures of the recent Team Sarcoma Day at the K, click here: