Former student loses his battle with cancer

Kali Price

Jeffrey Newbauer had plans to go to game three of the World Series in Detroit Tuesday.

But Newbauer and his family had to cancel their plans because of his failing health. Newbauer died Wednesday night of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS), a form of cancer that affects the body’s muscles. He was 22 years old.

Newbauer’s mother, Connie Guy, said the family made plans on Friday to go to the game.

“He was feeling fine up until Saturday,” she said. “He really just continued on. He was going and going until Saturday. He took a turn for the worst.”

Newbauer spent his summer on his “Cancer Sucks” tour of baseball stadiums around the country. He traveled to 26 different stadiums and made time to appear on several TV programs, such as ESPN’s “Cold Pizza” and “CNN Saturday Morning.”

“He had a great time on that tour,” Guy said.

She added that he wore his tour T-shirt that read “Cancer Sucks” to every game.

“He had more fun talking to people in the stands,” Guy said.

Newbauer traveled with his family and friends. Guy said Newbauer wanted to share the experience with them.

He was diagnosed with paratesticular ARMS in April 2003. By then, the cancer had spread to his lymph system and bone marrow. After nine months of chemotherapy, Newbauer went into remission that December, but relapsed in 2004, 2005 and in May.

“He never gave up,” said senior education major Steve Ambrose, who was one of Newbauer’s closest friends. “He always thought that he could beat it. He never got down about it; he always took it for the best. He never was upset about it.”

Ambrose said he had known Newbauer for about 10 years.

“(Newbauer) was one of the greatest people I’ve ever met in my life,” he said. “I’ve always known by his character that he would be a king.”

Newbauer had studied theater and lighting production at Kent State, but Guy said he decided not to return after he relapsed in May.

Senior English major Patrick Rigney knew Newbauer for about two years. Rigney said they met when they worked backstage on the production of “Anything Goes.”

“He’s one of those guys that when he walks into the room, he brings this warm feeling,” Rigney said. “He was like a big nice guy.”

Guy and Ambrose both said Newbauer had a good sense of humor and cared more about others.

“He cared so much about everyone else before he cared about himself,” Guy said.

Calling hours will be from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday at Ferfolia Funeral Home at 356 W. Aurora Road in Sagamore Hills. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Cosmas and Damian at 10429 Ravenna Road in Twinsburg.

Contact student politics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].