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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Attaboys from his teammates: Jon Lester’s Win over lymphoma

After six chemotherapy treatments over the winter, he was declared free of the anaplastic large cell lymphoma that had interrupted his solidly successful rookie season as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox had gone slowly in bringing back Jon Lester, waiting until last night to give him the ball. In the sober words of the New York Times journalist Bill Finley, "he made a dramatic and effective return….[H]is ability to get outs has apparently not been diminished by his battle with cancer."

At the beginning of the game he received a warm round of applause from fans of both the Cleveland Indians and Red Sox. His teammates gave him good run support, scoring four times in the first inning.

Six innings later, he was pulled from the game, ahead, 5 – 2. He got slaps on the back and attaboys from his teammates. The Red Sox fans in the Cleveland stadium cheered, and Manager Tony Francona congratulated him.

Lester was supportive to others, wearing a red wristband in support of the Lester Project, an offshoot of another cancer charity, the Jimmy Fund.

Advice to cancer patients: Get a group of supporters who are as fanatic as Red Sox Nation.

Read another of our cancer survivor stories, or read the source stories by Nick Cafardo, Amalie Benjamin, and Bill Finley in the Sports sections of today’s Boston Globe and New York Times.

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