Thursday, August 1, 2013

Twelve-Year-Old Los Angeles Little Leaguer®, Two-Time Cancer Survivor, Honored with 2013 Little League® Good Sport of the Year Award

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (August 1, 2013) – In August 2012, Jaylon Fong, then 11, achieved remission from leukemia for the second time in his young life. Just a month earlier, Jaylon closed out the California District 19 Championship Game, getting a sixth-inning strike out and a district championship banner for his West Covina American Little League team.

“Baseball helps me forget about my treatment. I go out there and just play,” said Jaylon. “I love pitching and striking people out.”

In 2011, Jaylon’s parents, Francis and Melinda, signed Jaylon up for Little League®. Throughout his treatments, he’s always stayed on a Little League roster. While it’s been difficult for Jaylon to get on the field this year at West Covina American Little League, his off-the-field accomplishments and hard work have led to his selection as the 2013 Little League Good Sport of the Year Award honoree. Since 1989, this award has gone to a Little League player who demonstrates superior qualities of sportsmanship and leadership, a commitment to teamwork and a desire to excel. In the face of such adversity, Jaylon exemplifies the importance of Little League, not only as a baseball and softball program, but also a leadership training program.

 “Jaylon’s strength to battle leukemia twice, all the while serving as an inspiration for his family and community makes him beyond deserving for the Good Sport Award,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “We are proud to call him a Little Leaguer® and honored that we can recognize him at the 2013 Little League Baseball® World Series.”

First diagnosed with leukemia in December 2008, Jaylon, now 12, has been undergoing treatments for most of the past four and a half years at City of Hope, a nationally renowned cancer center in Duarte, Calif.

“Jaylon’s ability to continue playing baseball throughout his treatment has been a wonderful, fun way for Jaylon to improve his health -- physically, emotionally and spiritually,” said Dr. April Sorrell, Jaylon’s Pediatric Hematologist at City of Hope. “Treatments and procedures take a significant toll on the body. For him to go from the hospital to the field and compete as an athlete has shown unbelievable perseverance and bravery. His love of the sport has gotten him through many tough days.”

Jaylon continues to receive chemotherapy, radiation treatments and blood and platelet transfusions and have monthly hospital stays. Thanks to his family, the team at City of Hope and his teammates, Jaylon is using his battle to raise awareness and support for a cure. He has been asked to speak at public events, and his story has inspired many. He was even invited to throw out the first pitch at the 2012 Little League Baseball® West Region Championship Game.

“Through it all I have more good days than bad,” said Jaylon at a recent City of Hope event. “But don’t worry about me…I can handle it.”
Follow Jaylon Fights Leukemia at:

Jaylon will be recognized at a ceremony during the 67th Little League Baseball World Series, which begins on Thursday, Aug. 15 in South Williamsport, Pa., with the Championship Game scheduled for 3 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25. The Little League Awards Breakfast will be held on Thursday, Aug. 22. For more information on the Series and to follow the action live, visit