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Cancer Ninjas: Federal Way family fights for a cure

Meet the Cancer Ninjas: Federal Way residents Kate Olson, left, and her mother, Rose Jacobi, raise money for leukemia and lymphoma research. - Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
Meet the Cancer Ninjas: Federal Way residents Kate Olson, left, and her mother, Rose Jacobi, raise money for leukemia and lymphoma research.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror

To fight cancer, a Federal Way mother and daughter formed the Cancer Ninjas.

Rose Jacobi and her daughter, Kate Olson, have raised $5,300 so far to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The inspiration comes from their family. All his life, 22-year-old Jonathan Jacobi has struggled with medical issues. He has endured 58 surgeries, minor and major.

Immune deficiencies and related disorders make Jonathan Jacobi more susceptible to developing lymphoma, a blood cancer that targets white blood cells.

Jonathan's mother and sister launched the Cancer Ninjas in anticipation of a lymphoma diagnosis. So far, he has escaped diagnosis, but the disease hovers over the family.

With that in mind, they want to help find a cure for cancer before cancer finds Jonathan.

In 2010, Rose and Kate's team raised nearly $2,000 for the society's Light the Night Walk. This past August, the Cancer Ninjas held a fundraiser and silent auction at LifeWay Church in Federal Way. The event raised more than $1,800, and plans are under way for a similar event in 2013. They have also raised money through car washes, and a penny drive will run through the end of 2012.

"Everybody has an experience where they've been touched by cancer," said Kate Olson, who got the name Cancer Ninjas from a T-shirt. "I can't just sit back and watch."

Aside from raising money, the family holds an annual barbecue and support group for people affected by Kabuki Syndrome, a rare congenital disorder.

Cancer Ninjas is a "pay it forward" effort, Jacobi said. Their goal is to get more people involved so that Cancer Ninjas can raise more money and help more cancer patients.

"The ultimate goal is to find a cure," she said. "Some people just need to know that somebody cares."

Learn more

• To learn more about the Cancer Ninjas, or to make a donation, email cancerninjas@gmail.com.

• In 2011, about 662,789 people were living with lymphoma or were in remission, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. To learn more, visit www.lls.org.

 

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