Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Yolanda L. Jackson is the Senior Director of Athlete Marketing and Promotions for the Women's Sports Foundation. She earned her Masters from Columbia. Not only has she been a role model, but she's brought public attention to female athletes of the past, present, and future. Her contributions have been recognized by WSF's Billie Jean who developed the Yolanda L. Jackson Give Back Award honoring a female athlete "who exemplifies what it means to be a role model, and who knows the importance of giving back." Through the foundation, Yolanda works with elite female athletes to make sure that they are able to reach their full potential. Her work not only promotes women in sports, but has paved the way for future female athletes to make their dreams come true.
But to me, she's just my Auntie Yo. She's fun, and smart, and loving, and family. And a few years ago I sat on my living room floor and cried thinking about the possibility that we might lose her (which kind of makes my eyes well up just typing it). Yolanda was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. If you know anything about this type of cancer, you know it's often a death sentence. Yolanda went through surgery, chemo, radiation, she went through hell. Even in her weakest moments, she fought with all that she had. We are so blessed that Auntie Yo made it through and has made an amazing recovery. Thank goodness too, because she was one of the only people that got little baby Micky to stop crying on our first visit to Grammie's house! Not to mention, I can't imagine my second baby not being held and loved on by his Great Auntie Yo, like my first baby was.