After learning that USA Women’s Eagle and Olympic hopeful Jillion Potter had been diagnosed with Stage III Synovial Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, the rugby community stepped-up to support her fight by donating to help pay for her medical expenses.
This month Houston Athletic Rugby Club player Jacqueline Harrell won an online auction, ran by USA Rugby Trust, for of one of Jillion’s jerseys. The money raised will go directly to Jillion to use for her medical expenses.
After winning the auction with a bid of $820 Jacqueline had this to say:
Jillion came to a practice a few weeks ago and I automatically knew who she was, any true rugger would; She’s a legend. Participating in our practices, she taught me new ways to tackle people bigger than myself and how to make my switches more accurate. After becoming friends I had a key chain made for her. In return she gave me her 2010 World Cup jacket to take on a rugby tour I had in London. Seeing her jersey on eBay I knew I had to buy it. Not to own it or wear it, but I want to go visit her and give it back. After she gets past this stepping stone in life and goes on to be an Olympian in Rio of 2016, it will be priceless. I want her to give it to some girl that will inspire her to fulfill her rugby dreams as she did when she gave me her jacket. I truly believe she’s going to do great things and inspire so many people, and after she gets her jersey in Rio, she can give her others away to those who look up to her.
While Jillion has surpassed her goal of raising $16,000 to pay her out-of-pocket medical expenses, she is currently undergoing radiation therapy, which is expected to be the most costly phase of her treatment.
Jillion plans to donate any money that is raised above her out-of-pocket expenses to the Sarcoma Foundation of America.
This is not the first time Jillion has faced a serious medical issue. She came back from a broken neck in 2010 to play in the 2013 7s World Cup in Moscow, and in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Paris. She has shown tremendous strength and perseverance in the face of medical hardship, and we know this won’t be an exception.
You can help support Jillion’s fight by giving on her donation page at youcaring.com.