November 5, 2006 by

Jeffrey Newbauer Jr.

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Categories: Extraordinary People

jnewbauer.jpgJeffrey S. Newbauer Jr., a terminally ill college student who tried to raise awareness about childhood cancer and research by visiting every Major League Baseball park in a single season, died on Oct. 25 of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS). He was 22.
A resident of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, Newbauer studied theater and lighting production at Kent State University. His academic career was interrupted in 2003 when doctors diagnosed him with stage 4 paratesticular ARMS, a form of cancer that affects the body’s muscles. Despite undergoing 27 months of chemotherapy, the cancer spread into his bones, lymph system and bone marrow. He relapsed in 2004, 2005 and last May.
“I have that never say die attitude. And that’s the kind of way you have to approach it. You can’t lay down and take it, you know? You live on your terms, not on the cancer’s terms,” the lifelong baseball fan once said.
Knowing he had little time left, Newbauer launched the “Cancer Sucks Ballpark Tour.” He began at Jacobs Field in Cleveland on June 25 and chronicled the trip on his Website. After reading his blog, strangers and friends donated money, airline tickets, game tickets and hotel rooms. One man even transported Newbauer to baseball games in three cities on his private jet.
During each stop, Newbauer would don a grey T-shirt bearing the message “Cancer Sucks,” and give interviews to local news outlets about childhood cancer and the devastating effects it has on children and their families. In August, he met with Indians players and coaches at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Before the season ended, Newbauer managed to visit 26 of 30 ballparks and appeared on ESPN’s “Cold Pizza” and “CNN Saturday Morning.”
Newbauer, who was known to friends as Newbe, attended his final game on Oct. 1 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. He had tickets to Game 3 of the World Series, but couldn’t make the trip to watch the Detroit Tigers play the Cardinals in St. Louis because of his failing health. He died minutes before the start of Game 4, which was rained out.
Newbauer’s ultimate goal was to find a cure for cancer and help other kids with the disease make their dreams come true. Before his death, he made his father promise to try to raise $2 million for the fight against cancer by the start of the next baseball season. Fundraising efforts are underway. At the cemetery where he was buried, family and friends bid farewell to Newbauer by singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”
Watch Video Interviews With Newbauer

2 Responses to Jeffrey Newbauer Jr.

  1. Saidah

    umm yea he was the fb coach at mi skool last year n the day he died the whole school was crying it was a really sad day but the football players said he always told them “you gotta have heart”

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