SAD DAY IN EATON RAPIDS

     I never met Jeff Rochester but I watched him pitch last spring for the Eaton Rapids High School baseball team.  He was good and nearly led his team to a Diamond Classic appearance.  He performed while battling brain cancer and taking chemotherapy treatments.  They wiped him out much of the time, but he still played for the Greyhounds.  Jeff battled the same type of brain cancer that killed my brother six years ago next month.  My brother was 52 and survived 8 1/2 months.  Jeff died Wednesday after a battle of about a year and a half.  The funeral is Saturday, February 14th, 1pm, at Eaton Rapids United Methodist Church.

     Watching the video we have chosen for the newscast and the Sunday Staudt on Sports it seems so sad.  A polite, good looking, athletic young man and you wonder why it happens to some over others.  We never found out why my brother suffered his disease-- it is difficult to learn the origin and I'm sure it's that way for Jeff's family.  You watch all these games and athletes, so healthy and invigorated and then look at the video of this young man and now he's gone.  And the end was difficult as it was for my brother.

    He'd been admitted to Hope College where he hoped to play but his health deteriorated to the point where he couldn't do it last fall and spent the rest of his time with doctors and treatments, etc.  It wasn't easy.  I hope he's in a better place and I feel so badly for those who were close to him.

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  • by Todd Location: Eaton Rapids on Feb 11, 2009 at 05:17 AM
    Jeff was a very important part of my children's childhood. Jeff's grandmother (Daisy) watched our children through the workweek until they entered kindegarten. They knew Jeffrey as "Buddy" and he always be an important part of our lives. We miss you Buddy!
  • by Patrick Location: Richmond, MI on Feb 6, 2009 at 04:56 PM
    I went to High School with Jeff's dad, Jeff Sr. A group of us have kept contact via email over the years. Jeff Sr. has kept us informed. It has been a very tough battle. Jeff Jr. and the family have been an inspiration to us all. To battle something this tough with such a positive attitude, reminds us what truly is important in life. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: "It is not length of life, but depth of life." The depth of Jeff's life should serve as a lesson to us all.
  • by Jeff's dad Location: Eaton Rapids on Feb 6, 2009 at 08:57 AM
    Brain cancer is an awful disease, and the type that Jeff and Tim's brother had shows no mercy. The cause is unknown, and there is no cure. Fortunately for Jeff, it did not rob him of his personality. Two pretty girls walked into his hospital room last Friday night and he was still able to give a huge smile to them. Thank you for the continued coverage and helping to get his story out. I hope it inspires many others, athletes or not. Jeff made his brain cancer a non-issue in completing his senior year, both academically and athletically. He did all that he wanted, and lived every day to the fullest.
  • by Gracie Location: St Clair, MI on Feb 6, 2009 at 05:07 AM
    Thank you for this beautiful story of Jeff. He was a very bright, athletic young man with a wonderful future ahead of him. So sad. His Aunt Gracie.
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