Pumas step up to support #JacobStrong


Ray Mota

Senior Jacob Medina, in his wheelchair, makes an appearance at baseball's senior night with his family on April 16. Medina, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in March, says he has been amazed with the support he has received from the community.

Coming out of the cages swinging senior Jacob Medina battles against leukemia. His family and community is joining hands to help throughout his recovery.

In February, Medina began to complain about rib pain throughout games and gym


“I just couldn’t breathe right,”Medina explains.

With unpredictable pain Medina was diagnosed with intercostal muscle strain. Taking days off , he started back on his hitting routine. However, noticed he couldn’t reach his usual rounds and was “tired after the first one.”

Becoming a trend, the family didn’t know what to do. Medina recalls his mother seeing him “Go pale, I almost look like a dead person.”

Mendina expressed how he thought he was just tired, but felt even more fatigued when he began his trip to Tucson to talk to a college. As he walked down for a

baseball game, Medina says, “I’m walking and I’m getting winded and I feel my lung again.”

When the game was over Medina said, “I was worn out and

want to go home, but I wasn’t going to make the trip home.”

The family rushed to the ER and his blood was taken for testing. His results showed he had signs and symptoms of leukemia. Medina’s mother asks, “Are you

sure this is his blood, are you sure this is his reading?”

They did another test, this time his white blood cell count had skyrocketed. Medina’s mother explained, “Five to ten thousand is a healthy ratio.” However, Medina’s white

blood cells were at seventy thousand!

Medina transferred to Phoenix children’s hospital and was diagnosed with B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Medina’s reaction was “When can I play baseball again?”

Medina was told he’d out for a year, that is if nothing goes wrong. He explained the plan “Six months intense treatment with hopefully getting me into remission within the first thirty days of chemo.”

Medina told his friends; senior CJ Valdez and junior Tyler Valdez’s father and friend senior Sage Stutz began fundraising. CJ Valdez remembers how he felt “It was heartbreaking because he [Medina] is so strong.”

On campus the support for Medina’s fight have been nothing but endless and has no doubt showed how we pumas fight for our own and strive to help each other.

On April 19th, the Medina family got positive news about Jacob finally moving into remission. His bone marrow biopsy results showed that he had no traces of malignant leukemia cells. Medina will still be continuing his chemotherapy treatments for the next eleven months. Krystal Medina explains, “The next five months will still be very intensive while he is in the consolidation phase with weekly spinal taps and chemotherapy treatments.”

Visitation restrictions still apply, as Medina fights to maintain staying in remission and making a healthy recovery.