Like all great baseball pitchers, Jaylon has nerves of steel. His ability to stay cool has helped him with a challenge much tougher than striking out a batter: fighting cancer. In December 2008, Jaylon was diagnosed with leukemia. After years of treatment, he was declared cancer-free in March 2012, but the disease soon returned. Even though Jaylon is fighting cancer again, he has remained calm and focused ? the same approach he uses on the mound. In July 2012, about two weeks after the cancer came back, he helped his team win the District 19 championship. With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning, Jaylon got his opponent to strike out swinging. "All I was thinking was to get the batter out and move on to the next round," he says. Jaylon is now in the home stretch of his treatment, and baseball continues to be a big part of his life. He threw out the first pitch at the 2013 Little League World Series international championship game and won the 2013 Little League Good Sport of the Year award.
Text: Vidur Malik; Christina M. Tapper
Photo: KOHJIRO KINNO FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED