The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Senior counterpunches cancer

Senior, Kevin Mendoza strikes his opponent in the face during a boxing match.

by Alexis McCutchan| editor-in-chief

Senior and boxer Kevin Mendoza was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) his junior year and, after missing nearly an entire school year, is finally back on campus.

“It feels good to be back because I wanna show people I beat it, “ said Mendoza.

Mendoza confessed that, with ALL, staying indoors was all he could do some days.

“I would lose weight and I would always be locked up inside, so it made me feel upset,” said Mendoza.

Forced to stay inside with little or nothing to do, Mendoza looked to videos for comfort and motivation.

“I watched a lot of Youtube videos and boxing. Boxing makes me motivated and I even watch some of my old fighting videos,” said Mendoza.

He was forced to take a break from boxing because of his disease.

“It was hard, it was like a part of you was gone,” said Mendoza.

Nearly done with treatment, Kevin is now allowed to box.

“I am training again, but not sparring or fighting yet,” said Mendoza.

The current treatment Kevin is on is said to be done by the end of 2021.

“I go monthly. It’s the same medication, but the dosage is different now,” said Mendoza.

While going through treatment Mendoza realized who was most important in his life and what he meant to others.

“You definitely see who your real friends are and you find out how much or how little your family cares,” said Mendoza.

Mendoza is grateful for the family and friends who helped him through treatment as well as his faith.

“Knowing I wasn’t alone helped me and that [God] was going to take care of me no matter what,” said Mendoza.

One of Mendoza’s biggest influences was his family, specifically his mother.

“She’s been motivating me since the day I got it  and trying to motivate me to get stronger,” said Mendoza.

Mendoza, being back on his feet, has set some goals for himself and can’t wait to achieve them.

“Finishing high school, getting a job again and getting back into competitive boxing,” said Mendoza.


In light of Mendoza being diagnosed with ALL, he wants to give words of encouragement for other people who have been diagnosed with ALL or in similar situations.  

“You just gotta keep fighting and get through the hard part and you’ll be fine once you get passed that big bump for the first year,” said Mendoza.


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Senior counterpunches cancer