"Joining the Battle Against Cancer in Kids and Supporting Local Youth"


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Justin LeFevre Foundation
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Other Articles:
Justin's Bio Page
Hitting Life With All He's Got
Cancer won't stop CV player
LeFevre gave Bucks an example to follow
Intelligencer Journal, Thursday, January 17, 2002

By Kevin Freeman
Sports Staff

Conestoga Valley's Justin LeFevre never let his battle with cancer alter his commitment to football

A fighting spirit is what I will remember most about Justin LeFevre.

No, I wasn't around him very much. But in the few times that I talked to him and in hearing from his friends and coach, it's something I know.

Justin, 17, lost his battle with cancer Tuesday, but boy, did he give it a fight. The Conestoga Valley junior linebacker knocked it for a loop last spring and summer after multiple rounds of chemo treatments. By summer's end, he was back on the field, practicing for the fall season.

But even when he accomplished his goal of returning to football after fighting Ewing's Sarcoma, the cancer was already returning. Like he had done before, he fought through it.

"I remember when Justin was a, freshman, prior to anyone knowing he had cancer," said CV head football coach Gerad Novak Wednesday afternoon. "We were at a 7‑on‑7 camp at East Stroudsburg and Justin was hurting. I said, 'Justin, just take a series or two off. But he said, 'No, coach, I need to practice.'

Novak also saw that attitude in a scrimmage with Bishop McDevitt. Justin had come in a little late on a play and the kid who got hit shoved Justin.

“Justin was ready to go at him, Novak said. "We were thinking that this was just the kind of kid we needed. He went 100 percent on every play. He had something special."

After doctors cleared him to return to practice last summer, Justin experienced pain in his leg. Doctors thought the pain was the result of too much running too soon after coming back from the chemo treatments.

 But the pain turned out to be a return of cancer, this time in his knee.

"We thought he had it beaten," Novak said.

Justin just wanted to be like every other kid at CV. He didn't want his illness to prevent him from doing anything and he didn't want to be around anyone who wasn't positive about him getting better.

"I was fortunate to coach him and be around him," Novak said.

Novak is sure Justin's memory will live on in CV's football players. Maybe it will inspire them in the weight room or on the field. If it's determination they seek, Justin's memory will certainly provide that.

Then there is Ryan Thompson, a CV student who didn't play football this past fall. He is coming out for the team next fall. And he wants to wear Justin's number.

Novak said that the school will do something in Justin's memory after some discussion about different ideas.

"Justin was a remarkable kid," Novak said.