Everything was great. I was a normal kid, having fun playing a sport, athletic and competitive. Later, sophomore year came and it was exciting. I was playing on the Junior Varsity team and I was invited to suit up for Varsity games. I was no longer that little freshman. I had so much pride playing for Beckman, knowing my older brother had played there as well. Everything was great. I had little things to worry about, but to teenagers, little things like insecurities, school, problems at home, seem like the end of the world. These little things we worry about aren’t worth the worry. At least that’s how I see it now, because of the cancer.
During offseason football I had this weird, sharp pain in the inside of my knee. Playing football, all you think about is something wrong with a ligament or not stretching enough, but the pain grew. I tolerated it because in football you learn to do that. During the summer I went to my primary doctor. In early July I was sent for and x-ray and an MRI. We finally got the results back and he said it looked to be a soft tissue mass so he referred us to an orthopedic oncologist. I will never forget the date, July 29, 2015, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma cancer. It was shocking. It was a lot to take in. But I wasn’t sad or depressed. My attitude was different. Once I received the news I felt like, “Okay…let’s get this done and over with.” I wasn’t scared, that is what football does to you. It prepares you to fight the good fight.
Next I was sent for scans of my chest, because this kind of cancer spreads to the lungs. Unfortunately I was already at Stage 4 of my cancer. I have 9 little tumors on one lung and 8 tumors on the other lung. I received this news on July 30, 2015, the day of my biopsy. I started chemotherapy the beginning of August as we had to attack aggressively. Now, after a month of chemotherapy and resting, it has been quite tough, but nothing I can’t handle.
I'm humbled and very thankful for everyone out there supporting me. It means the world to me. I am VERY grateful for what I have in this world and once I heard about my boys going out there and playing for me every game, especially on September 11th against Foothill, and everyone in the crowd supporting, friends, family and strangers with hearts who are willing to help and unknown soul, it means so much. I feel great, I feel positive and confident, even when life throws the heaviest of things to bring me down. I will get back on my feet. I want to give everyone thanks and I’ll fight for all of you supporting me. I won’t stop swinging, I promise you that. Thank you.
- Jill Herr
Organizer and beneficiary
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