By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 1/25/16
Jonathan Donfrancesco said he never looks back on his 4-year fight with Leukemia as a negative.
“It was tough; I spent a lot of days in the hospital getting blood transfusions and getting poked with needles,” said the Stratford (CT) 2016 attackman, “but I knew I would be fine and healthy eventually.
“And I always kept a positive attitude. I became a better person after going through the tragedy.”
Donfrancesco was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 9. It took those four years of Chemotherapy treatments and more blood transfusions than he can remember, but in 2013 he was deemed cancer free.
Early in 2015, Donfrancesco – who loved football as a kid – was strong enough to get back into sports and picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time, at the urging of some of his friends at Stratford.
“It’s been a tough road, but I’m happy I found lacrosse,” he said. “It made me love sports again.”
As a junior who had never played the sport before Donfrancesco stunned even himself by making the varsity. He started two games and then this past fall he scored 11 goals for Ivy Lacrosse Club and helped the team finish 11-2 in tournament games.
Then, just recently, Donfrancesco committed to play Division III lacrosse at Western Connecticut State University.
“I tried the sport because my best friends, Eric Redgate, Mason Rosenbaum and Alex Ramos, played,” said Donfrancesco. “I loved the sport because it was fun and I knew I would be able to get better at it.
“I picked it up so quickly by practicing for hours and not letting anything get in my way of success.
Donfrancesco said he will continue to look ahead, not behind. But he takes what he learned during his fight to live as motivation.
“I’m just blessed to be able to play lacrosse and further my career in college,” he said. “If you work at something and you really want to succeed, anything is possible.
“I have a strong belief in the fact that everything happens for a reason. This experience made me a better person and I’m happy with how my life is right now and the future in front of me.
“So I’m not bitter I’m just happy that I’m healthy now.”