Never quit! That’s a rallying cry World Series Champion pitcher and cancer survivor, Jon Lester has demonstrated time and again.
Many know him as a three-time World Series Champion pitcher, but Jon Lester is more than just a great baseball player; he is a cancer survivor. At age 22 and midway through his rookie year with the Red Sox, Jon was diagnosed with a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare but treatable cancer accounting for 1 percent to 2 percent of all lymphomas, or cancers of the lymph nodes. Lester went through six chemotherapy treatments before being declared cancer-free. Just ten months after beating cancer, Lester was a World Series champion for the first time.
In 2012, Jon Lester and his wife Farrah wanted to make an impact off the field. As their family began to grow, their mission took focus – to strike out pediatric cancer. They committed to team up with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) to create the NVRQT campaign as a way to raise awareness and funds for children’s cancer research.
With the NVRQT platform and the support of his friends, family, and team, Lester has made more than $2.8 million of pediatric cancer research possible. His signature event, NVRQT Goes Country, features live country music, a tasty barbecue buffet, an extensive auction, and fair-style games operated by Cubs players and staff. Thanks to Jon and Farah Lester, the children who benefit from this research will realize futures challenged by their cancer diagnosis.
Not only has Lester played a crucial role in raising awareness and funds for children’s cancer research, but he also provides endless inspiration for kids with cancer. Jon’s own experience with cancer makes his connection to them is authentic and memorable. Throughout the regular season, he would host “Road Rallies” at home and away games. Pediatric cancer patients from local hospitals would come to the ballparks and have the opportunity to meet-and-greet with the players, take pictures, and get autographs. For some of these kids, it was the dream of a lifetime that carried them through the tough treatment days. The mantra “NVRQT” or (Never Quit) serves as a constant reminder that we cannot give up hope in the fight against pediatric cancer.
Jon Lester is a legendary pitcher who has brought success to more than one MLB team, inspired joy to countless fans, received a very long list of prestigious awards, and is a proud father and husband. On top of all of that, he still manages to help those who cannot help themselves through NVRQT and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts in finding a cure for childhood cancer. Without a doubt, Jon Lester’s legacy extends beyond the baseball field to each individual future realized by children who will benefit from research funded by NVRQT and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.
Learn more about NVRQT and more ways to join our community of cure seekers!