Jeanette Lee, “The Black Widow,” Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
One of the most iconic names in billiards, Jeanette Lee, has announced that she has been diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. Nicknamed The Black Widow, Lee was the dominant billiards personality of her era who was formerly ranked No. 1 in the sport, a World Games Gold Medalist and a WPBA, BCA and Asian Hall of Fame inductee.
Lee, now 49 years old, has vowed to fight the disease through every means available including chemotherapy, which has already begun, as well as upcoming surgeries to slow the onslaught of her illness.
Winner of more than 30 national and international titles, Lee’s greatest achievement is being the mother to three daughters, Cheyenne (16), Chloe (11) and Savannah (10). Lee has expressed that her biggest concern is the future of her children.
“I intend to bring the same resolve I brought to the billiards table to this fight,” said Lee. “Jim Valvano so eloquently told us to ‘Never give up’. I owe it to my three young daughters to do exactly that.”
In response to that need, a group of her friends, family and business associates have launched a GoFundMe effort. The “Jeanette Lee Legacy Fund” is a trust designed to provide for the care, well-being and education of her three daughters. Donations to the Jeanette Lee Legacy Fund can be made Here.
With ESPN’s broadcasts of the WPBA in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Lee’s combination of competitive excellence, unique style and beauty made her the fan favorite and extended billiards to a broader audience. She graced ESPN Magazine’s “The Body” issue, was a contestant on Korea’s Dancing with the Stars, was featured in an ESPN SportsCenter commercial, and made a cameo appearance in the Disney film, The Other Sister.
Consistently ranked as one of the Most Powerful People in the sport by Billiards Digest, Lee’s career was cut short by her battle with Scoliosis that, over the last dozen years, had limited her ability to compete at the game’s highest level.
In 2009, Lee became a spokeswoman for the American Poolplayers Association (APA), and in recent years, she’s become an APA League Operator running the APA League in Tampa, Fla.
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