April - August 2008: Doctors find a baseball sized tumor in Jake's foot and diagnose it as cancer. He undergoes three one-week rounds of in-patient chemotherapy before having re-sectioning/amputation surgery on his foot and toes.
Fall of 2008: Jake receives instense radiation therapy on his foot five days per week.
January 2009: He returns to competition at the Cornell Invite and takes first place.
February 2009: He then places third at the Mid American Conference Indoor Championships in the shot put.
May 2009: Due to the previous radiation therapy and amputation surgery on his foot, Jake breaks it while competing in late April. He competes at the conference championship three weeks later by putting his foot in an ice bath for 30 minutes prior to his flight and applying topical numbing cream. Jake comes in second to one of the top throwers in the country, and qualifies for the NCAA Regional Championship.
February 2010: Jake wins the Indoor Mid American Conference Championship in the shot put with an NCAA National B-standard throw.
May 2010: Jake finishes third at the outdoor Mid American Conference Championships, then, at the Regional Meet, misses qualifying for NCAA Nationals by four centimeters. "That felt worse than the cancer." Jake finishes his career as one of the top 30 throwers in the nation. He earns his Masters Degree from the University at Buffalo and accepts a position at Roswell Park Cancer Institute as a Registered Nurse.
April 2012: Jake has his first relapse when doctors find a cancerous tumor in his lung. He undergoes lung surgery and returns to his clinical in two weeks in order to graduate on time. He also returns to the weight room to train again after only three weeks.
December 2012: Jake has another relapse while working as a nurse in the world-renowned Roswell Pediatric Cancer Care Center. He undergoes another lung surgery to remove the tumor, and misses no days of work during his three rounds of in-patient chemotherapy.
November 2013: Jake is once again facing a relapse.
Championships and life are won rep by rep, set by set, and day by day!
Attention The second preorder period has officially ended. Thank you so much for all your support and generosity. Shirts will be shipped out shortly. Make sure to post your Team Madonia shirt pictures to our Facebook page when you receive your shirt!
Jake has been kind enough to share his story with us by starting a blog. He offers a more detailed account of his story, as well as the winning spirit that has enabled him to stay positive throughout each of his fights. And don't forget to show it to others!