Billiards legend Jeanette Lee was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, according to the American Poolplayers Association. Known as “The Black Widow,” the 49-year-old mother of three is revered as one of the best pool players of all time.
“I intend to bring the same determination that I brought to the pool table to this fight,” Lee said in a statement released Wednesday. “Jim Valvano told us so eloquently that we should never give up. I owe it to my three young daughters for doing just that, ”she added, probably referring to the late college basketball coach who also had cancer and who died in 1993.
Lee has been shooting pool since 1989, reached No. 1 in the sport and won more than 30 national and international titles in the course of her professional career.
When it came to her iconic nickname, she told ESPN, “It started in that pool room in New York, the Howard Beach Billiards Club. The owner of the room, this guy Gabe, said when I first walked the room I made it so mysterious and pretty and calm and nobody knew who I was, then I just went to the table and started hitting balls all over the place.
“From then on he just called me the Black Widow. It was just our nickname,” she recalled. “But then it came up in an interview with the New York Times and although it was supposed to be confidential, they wrote about it. And as soon as it got in the media, it started.”
According to APA, an organization she has been a spokesperson for since 2009, Lee started chemotherapy and planned a series of surgeries after she was diagnosed with cancer.
“At this point, her doctors say she has a few months to a year to live,” read a GoFundMe page created by her family and friends. “Jeanette’s greatest and most pressing concern is the welfare of her three young girls Cheyenne, 16, Chloe, 11 and Savannah, 10. Jeanette has been a single mother for several years. The future care, welfare and upbringing of her girls is the greatest Cause for concern for them. “
Symptoms of ovarian cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Irregular discharge from the vagina
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Back pain or stomach pain
- Feeling full too quickly or having difficulty eating
- A change in bathroom habits, such as B. Frequent or urgent urination and / or constipation
The agency urges women to take care of their bodies and understand what is normal for them. Any unusual vaginal bleeding, including changes in your period, can be an important indicator of a doctor’s visit.
“Now I’m showing the people my scar”
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Lee isn’t the first health challenge Lee has faced. According to the GoFundMe page, she has had 19 different surgeries for scoliosis. An article about Lee on the APA website also reports that she has been a national spokesperson for the Scoliosis Foundation for over a decade.
“I feel really lucky because my experience was difficult, but I got through it,” Lee told USA Today in 2003. “I became the national spokesperson because I want to help other girls avoid a lot of pain, embarrassment, and loneliness. The reason I had really long hair to hide my scars was because I felt terribly unsafe and ugly. Now I’m showing that People my scar. The more I talked about it, the better I felt. “