At age 10, Jennifer, an ISKC student and brown belt, was diagnosed with Rabdomyo Sarcoma, an aggressive cancer of the muscles found in the neck and head. In many ways, Jennifer embodied a true-karate-ka. Despite undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and numerous surgeries, Jennifer refused to let her diagnosis stop her from training and competing.
Jennifer loved karate and exemplified a commitment to the sport and the spirit of competition. While still undergoing treatment, Jennifer continued to work toward her goals of competing in the National Championships and earning her brown belt.
Despite qualifying for the National Championships, her illness and treatments kept Jennifer from competing at the nationals for two years. Determined, Jennifer would not take “no” for an answer and made the brave decision to compete in the 1986 National Championships.
Just 11 days prior to the National Championships, Jennifer underwent major surgery to stop the growth of a tumor in her head and neck. Only a couple of days after the surgery, Jennifer snuck out of her hospital bed to practice her kata in an empty room and even convinced her doctors to release her from the hospital so she could compete in the National Championships. Jennifer finally achieved her dream and even earned a bronze medal in kata.
Due to the financial burden that comes with battling cancer, the Malloy family struggled to afford one last treatment they could try to battle the cancer in Jennifer's body. In order to help, Illinois Shotokan Karate rallied its students and resources to put on the first ever Kick for Cures event, formerly known as the Jennifer Malloy Kick Against Cancer, on February 22, 1987. Together, ISKC members raised more than $30,000 to support Jennifer and her family as she underwent treatment.
Sadly, Jennifer passed away later that year at at the age of 13 after a ferocious two-and-half year battle with cancer. Jennifer touched the lives of students and instructors, alike, and her memory continues to live on and inspire others.
This year, our annual Kick for Cures event is being held on March 3, 2019. The Kick for Cures is a meaningful and fun way to meet other members of our club and allows us to practice our karate together for a worthy cause.
To reserve your spot at the 2019 Kick For Cures event, please RSVP using the form below or call the ISKC office at 847-359-0666.
If you cannot attend, we hope you can join us in spirit by donating online! Every dollar counts!