Sad news as Jeanette Lee aka “Black Widow” announced that she’s fighting stage 4 ovarian cancer, reports the Washington Post. Doctors have told her she has maybe a year or two left to live. She has already started chemotherapy and is scheduled for multiple surgeries.
But the 49-year-old pool table phenom said she was going to fight because she “intends to beat it.”
“I intend to bring the same resolve I brought to the billiards table to this fight,” she said in a news release. “Jim Valvano(a sports broadcaster) so eloquently told us to ‘Never give up.’ I owe it to my three young daughters to do exactly that.”
A Gofundme has been set up by her friends to make sure Lee’s three young girls Cheyenne, 16, Chloe, 11, and Savannah, 10, will be taken care of. Additionally, the money will pay for Jeanette’s medical expenses.
“Jeanette has been a single mother for the last several years,” the Gofundme said. “The future care, well being and education of her girls is the biggest cause of anxiety for her… We are creating a trust, the Jeanette Lee Legacy Fund, to ensure that the girls are appropriately cared for and can afford to go to college.”
Jeanette Lee is a Korean American hailing from Brooklyn, New York. She got her nickname “Black Widow” while sharpening her game at the Howard Beach Billiard Club. She didn’t like it at first because it didn’t reflect her friendly nature but she ended up loving it because it represented her “strong” “competitive” and “feminine” side of her.
Lee started her pool career in 1989 before turning pro in 1991. By 1994, she was named the Women’s Profesional Billiard Association’s player of the year in 1994. She helped popularize the game back in the 1990s and became one of the sport’s biggest stars after ESPN started airing pool games.
During her time playing pool she won over 30 national and international titles. She was at one point the number-ranked billiard player in the world.
Her success continued in the 2000s but she had to put her career on hold because of scoliosis in 2010. She was in so much constant pain she underwent nineteen different surgeries for it. She believes the pain from scoliosis masked her pain from cancer allowing it to progress undetected.
Get better Jeanette Lee. Everyone’s cheering for you to get healthy.