Red Sox Nation is anx­iously awaiting the return of rookie pitcher Jon Lester to Fenway after a win­ning battle against cancer. While most fans are standing by patiently until the inspi­ra­tional ath­lete steps onto the field again, a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity stu­dent has been busy raising money with four of her friends to ben­efit the Jimmy Fund. Mid­dler Amanda Davis and her team, founders of The Lester Project (www​.the​lester​pro​ject​.com) have raised over $15,000 dol­lars by selling bracelets fea­turing the words “Striking Out Cancer” and Lester’s jersey number, #62.

Davis, like her four friends, (Chris­tine Yandow of Emmanuel Col­lege, Kayte Eddy of Fisher Col­lege, Casey Lennon of Fram­ingham State Col­lege, and Courtney Smith of Thomaston, CT) was born into a “Red Sox family.” She started fol­lowing the team reli­giously in 2003 and has been hooked since. “I always root for the rookies when they come up and want them to do well,” says Davis. “But Jon’s story really hit home because he’s fairly close to our age, and we also wanted to give Red Sox fans a way to show their sup­port for him.”

Inspired by the young man’s story, the five women quickly came up with the idea to raise money by selling the ever-​​popular wrist­bands, orig­i­nally made famous by Lance Armstrong’s cancer foun­da­tion. The women cre­ated a Web site and in a few months have raised more than $15,000 for the Jimmy Fund, a pre­mier orga­ni­za­tion with a long-​​standing asso­ci­a­tion with the Red Sox. Although not sur­pris­ingly, the majority of pur­chases have been from the New Eng­land area, buyers have logged on from as far as Sweden, Eng­land, Canada, Spain and France.

Jon Lester was not the only inspi­ra­tion for The Lester Project; the four women’ lives have been touched by cancer through watching the bat­tles of friends and family mem­bers over the years. Davis lost a high school friend to leukemia recently and her grand­mother lost the fight against the dis­ease when Davis was 12.

Although Jon has suc­ceeded in the fight against acute anaplastic large cell lym­phoma, the womens’ enthu­siasm to help kids still fighting has not dimin­ished. They are con­tin­uing to sell the wrist­bands on their Web site and par­tic­i­pate in fundraisers like The Jimmy Fund/​NESN/​WEEI Radio Telethon on Friday, August 17th at the Fenway. The women, along with The Jimmy Fund will also be selling the bracelets at the Fenway on August 14th, when Jon Lester will make his first start against the Devil Rays.

For more infor­ma­tion on The Lester Project and to buy a bracelet to sup­port The Jimmy Fund, please visit www​.the​lester​pro​ject​.com or con­tact Renata Nyul at 617–373-7424 or at r.​nyul@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.