Andrea Jaeger appreciation thread - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2002, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Andrea Jaeger appreciation thread

I just found out there's no thread dedicated to Andrea Jaeger.I've been reading many articles about what she's doing for ill kids and i think she's so human and kind person that i decide beside her successful tennis career she should be always ademired for her latest efforts.Of course you can post here anything related with her tennis career too.
I thought this could be a place to post anything we can find about Andrea,a person i really admire.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2002, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Former tennis star gives hope to terminally ill children


Andrea Jaeger says the strength, character and hope of the kids makes all her efforts worthwhile.


By Jim Huber, CNN/SI

ASPEN, Colo. -- She came to us as a phenomenon and in a very different sense of the word, Andrea Jaeger remains one still, many years later.

A pigtailed, teenage Wunderkind, she was the youngest seeded player in Wimbledon history at the age of 15 in 1980, the youngest U.S. 0pen semifinalist just a month later. By 1984, however, her career had come to an end because of injuries and burnout.

But during that marvelous stretch there was a grand butterfly still emerging, for as she spent her off time with sick children in hospitals around the world, the true phenomenon was gaining form and substance.

On those quiet visits, her heart grew and after moving to Aspen in 1989, she dedicated her life to giving terminally ill children a breath of life.

"The whole mission was to bring opportunities for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases to enhance their lives and to make things possible on a long-term basis," she said.

Jaeger, now 34, established a charity, the Kids Stuff Foundation, and with the help of friends like John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova, David Robinson and Cindy Crawford, brought children from all over the world for a week at a time to smell the air and hear the sounds and somehow know that there is life beyond a hospital room.

But they stayed in hotels and ate hotel food, and that dream needed walls and a ceiling and its own kitchen.

One day five years ago, a friend and his wife, Fritz and Fabi Bennedict, changed the dream forever and soon others joined in.

"Fritz and Fabi stepped up and said, 'We believe in it and here's land for it' and Ted Forstman said, 'I believe in it and here's $1.7 million for it.' Literally, thousands of other people have come and said, 'I have 5 dollars, paint the wall, put a shingle on.'"

And now, nearly a decade after the birth of the dream, the $6 million dollar, 18,000-square-foot Silver Lining Ranch, built totally through donations including the ten prime acres of Aspen property, becomes reality.

As the walls took form, they also took substance. An artist named Ben Brown, over the space of eight months, at his own expense and delight, gave each child's bedroom life and laughter. The $6 million, 18,000-square-foot Silver Lining Ranch, built totally through donations in Aspen, is now a reality.

He also created a mural on a hallway that was begun during a session last December when the ranch was nowhere near finished. The painting includes several children, including one little girl, who offered poses of their own.

"She built up a rapport with Ben," Jaeger said standing in front of the painting. "And she asked Ben, 'Do you think you could paint me with two legs because I lost a leg to cancer?' She didn't have an artificial leg you know, so she said, "I'd like to have two legs.'

Brown, who was standing nearby, explained why the young patient had made the request. "That's how she sees herself; she sees herself whole," he said. "Even though she lost a leg to cancer, she didn't want to be represented that way."

And so, on the final day of June in the last year of the 20th century, as workers were still hammering and drilling, the very first children arrived to stay at the Silver Lining Ranch.

Jaeger was there with a wide smile to greet her new visitors at the airport. "Hi, I'm Andrea, I'm glad you got here. How was the flight?"

Twenty in all, with the kind of illnesses that have already changed and threatened their young lives forever, they were now eager to enjoy a week in wonderland.






The ranch, right inside the Aspen city limits, touches every soul. There is a medical facility and technicians to attend to the children's individual needs. There are playrooms, with the animated faces of Andrea's tennis friends looking on. There is a dark room for the young photographer. And then there is the great outdoors that surely will take their minds off radiation and chemotherapy, off the pain of their burdens for just a little while.

The group is always a small one and for good reason.

"I believe in the philosophy of one child at a time," Jaeger says. "If you can make a child smile or laugh, well, your place in the world has been preserved. You carry a lot of what the kids bring and when you see their strength, their character, their hope in their eyes and in their heart, it gets you through the darkest hours you could ever have fundraising."

And what brightens the heart of Andrea Jaeger these days are the children.

"You get thoughts of what they go through and you get caught up in the energy and excitement of helping and that's what I hold on to."
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2002, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Creating a Silver Lining

A former tennis star finds that a life helping kids
is more rewarding than a life on the tour
by Rosey Grier


When Andrea Jaeger played on the women’s professional tennis tour, she won 10 singles titles, reached the finals of the French Open and Wimbledon, and was ranked as high as number two in the world. But that’s not why Andrea is a hero. She’s a hero because of what she’s accomplished in the years since she was a professional tennis player, and yet the two are tied together.

Andrea founded the Silver Lining Foundation in 1990 to bring the enjoyment of childhood to kids with life-threatening or life-altering diseases through programs that include camp-like experiences in Aspen, Colorado. Formerly called Kids Stuff, the Silver Lining Foundation recently opened a $6 million 11-room ranch house on 10 acres of donated land in Aspen. Years of fund-raising and construction followed and just last month the Benedict-Forstmann Silver Lining Ranch hosted its first two seven-day camps.

Much thought was put into the decoration of the ranch and Andrea describes it as a cross between Disney World and "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

"It’s a place where kids with cancer can have fun and play. We have extra-wide hallways and an elevator for those in wheelchairs. There are a lot of features other places might not have," says Andrea.

Andrea started the foundation in 1990 after a shoulder injury and a subsequent car accident (in which she was hit by a drunk driver) ended her tennis career at the early age of 21. When asked how she came up with the idea, she answered that it came out of her tennis days. "When I was on the tennis circuit, I used to visit hospitals," says Andrea. "One year I was visiting the Helen Hayes Hospital outside of New York City. I went into the play room where there was a group of kids. There was a boy who had lost both of his hands, a girl who had an IV attached to her and another girl who had a bald head from chemotherapy. They were all running around that room as if they were normal, healthy kids. I had grown up hitting tennis balls and having thousands of people cheer for me and I was watching these kids in the play room, with no one watching, appreciating life in a way that was really special. Those kids really taught me something about how appreciative you should be for every day you have."

Andrea Jaeger (far left) and some of her Silver Lining Foundation kids enjoy a day of tennis during one of the Aspen camps. Andrea did a lot of research to find out whether another foundation or organization for children with cancer was needed. "I didn’t want to duplicate what was already out there," says Andrea. The original idea was to bring fun and opportunity to children with diseases, and to do it in an environment where they didn’t feel like outcasts. "When I played tennis I was very young so I didn’t really fit in," says Andrea. "What I saw of kids in hospitals was that they had a similar feeling – kids and hospitals just don’t go together. So I try to get them out of the hospital and give some of the enjoyment back. We take them white-water rafting, skiing, teach them tennis."
The tennis community has been very helpful in helping Andrea fund her foundation, which was launched originally with money she had won playing. "John McEnroe was the first to donate time and money and has been great. He talked to people and said, ‘help her out.’ Since then, the players have seen what we’ve tried to do and have been very supportive."

The interesting thing about Andrea’s new life is that it’s brought her closer to her old life. "I grew up hating locker rooms. I went straight from junior high to the professional tennis tour. I didn’t know anything – I didn’t even know I was supposed to sit down during changeovers. I never felt that I fit in and didn’t really understand the impact of beating Billie Jean King or Chris Evert."

But things have changed and now Andrea appreciates the special access her tennis connections allow. "When I take the Silver Lining kids to Wimbledon, for instance, I can tell them how the special towels are in the upper locker room. I show them the press room and the lunch room and it’s fun. I don’t remember even eating in the players lunch room. Now I’m there all the time with the kids. I was a part of something so special and then it was over. But now I enjoy it more because I’m with there with the kids." Andrea never expected her days as a hero would only begin after her days as a competitor had ended.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2002, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Andrea’s mission

Tennis star gives children fighting cancer a chance to enjoy life

THERE ARE THINGS you do as kids that make all the difference in the world — not monumental stuff, just kid stuff — the kind that comes with easy laughter and no worries. But for kids fighting cancer, the cherished moments of childhood are seldom and few, until they reach a place that seems like heaven and one woman — a modern-day savior.
“This is what I, you know, work for,” says Andrea Jaeger. “And when the kids are coming and you just sit there and almost in celebration.”
In celebration because many were not supposed to be able to even make the journey. You see, it’s hard to be a kid when you’re terminally ill.
“We’ve had kids come out here that have been told, ‘There’s nothing we can do for you. I’m sorry you have three to six months,’” says Jaeger. “And we’re about giving them the opportunities of life.”
It wasn’t that long ago when Andrea Jaeger seemed to have every opportunity in life. You may remember her from the sports pages. She used to be pretty good at tennis. At 14, Jaeger wore pigtails and braces and had just turned professional. At 16, she was one of the best in the world, pulling in millions in endorsements and winnings.
“I was still a kid and I was an athlete,” says Jaeger. “And I didn’t mind diving for a ball and getting my knees all bloody. And they were appalled at my behavior sometimes.”
“They” were the older members on the circuit. And while her classmates from school were going to proms and getting their driver’s licenses, Jaeger was being chauffeured to tennis tournaments and controlled by a father she describes as domineering.
She felt she didn’t belong in either world.

Did she miss out on some important rites of passage? “Missing out on those gave me the opportunity to understand a small bit of what these kids with cancer go through,” says Jaeger. “They’re missing out on a lot more than just prom and homecoming. They’re missing out on perhaps their entire childhood.”
So the pigtailed pro decided to do something about it. While on the way to a tennis tournament at Christmas 1986, she passed a store and on a whim bought toys and delivered them to children at a local hospital. And it hit her.
“You just get so spoiled being a professional athlete,” says Jaeger. “So spoiled. These kids aren’t spoiled and they knock through the walls to make something happen for them and to survive that one day, that one hour.”
After being frustrated and repeatedly injured, playing the role of the teenage darling of tennis was not so fulfilling after all. Fate had something else in mind.
“And when I had a shoulder injury and seven surgeries I thought OK, here comes the rest of my life,” says Jaeger.
Center court for the now 35-year-old Andrea Jaeger is the Silverlining Ranch in Aspen, Colorado, where kids can be kids, not cancer patients. But getting here wasn’t easy. Jaeger had to practically give all of herself to create the program. She used all but $100 of her tennis winnings — $1.5 million — sold her car, maxxed out credit cards and even spent her pension investing in this dream — a dream some thought foolish.
“I actually had someone that I played with on the circuit who came to me and said, ‘Well why are you giving all your prize money and your pension and you’re going to be left with nothing? And these kids are going to die anyway?’” recalls Jaeger.
How did she respond to that? “At the time I was so shocked,” she says.
Shocked but undaunted, Andrea began treating a few children each year to a week at an Aspen hotel. But she wanted something more permanent. She also realized this was one game she couldn’t do alone. She needed money — and lots of it — to build a ranch. And she didn’t have to look too far.
Tennis superstar John McEnroe believed in Jaeger’s vision and spread the word to others like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. With their help, the cash began flowing in. Snuggled between the mountain peaks in Aspen, the Silver Lining Ranch opened its gates in 1999. And the children brought it to life.
Rob is 13 and suffers from acute lymoblastic leukemia. He’s traveled more than 36 hours on four different planes to come to the Silverlining Ranch.
“I just like the fact we can relax here,” says Rob, “Don’t have to go to the hospital.”
Sonia, a high school senior from Texas, has recently lost a leg to bone cancer. “It gets you from all of the hospital treatments and all the bad news the doctors give you sometimes,” she says. “And it’s just kind of like a fairytale almost.”

Nate, 19, has had more than 100 operations. He says doctors tell him it’s a miracle he’s still alive. He’s lived long enough and traveled far enough to experience things most of us take for granted. When you have cancer, even touching snow for the first time reminds you it might be the last.
“It was a week of first skiing, first dog sledding, first time seeing snow and really the first time have this much fun,” says Nate.
What many may consider a bothersome element of winter is a small first pleasure for Sonia. “I had never seen snow before,” she says. “It looks so beautiful.”
During what might be the final days of their young lives, the ranch is a happy distraction.
“It’s people like Andrea that make this difficult time the best ones of our lives,” says Sonia. “We feel like receiving a gift instead of a problem, a burden, a struggle.”
“I mean these kids are, you know, they’re not planning their parties,” says Jaeger. “They’re not planning what they’re doing for Christmas. Some of them are actually sitting down and saying, ‘OK, these are the kind of clothes I want to wear. Music I want to be played. This is the makeup and this is who I want to speak.’ And they’re doing it for their funeral service.”
If strength has a face, it must be Andrea Jaeger’s. News of another death comes almost weekly.
“When we are skiing today, we’ll be skiing with the kids and I’ll be thinking about how, you know, we just got a call this morning about how Lauren passed away yesterday,” says Jaeger.

But like those before her at the ranch, Lauren’s memory lives on — all included on a colorful wall of names.
When Jaeger was 15-years-old and she made that declaration that this is what she was going to do for the rest of her life, at that time could she have envisioned this ranch and this foundation? “I actually envisioned a place where adults aren’t necessarily celebrated, kids are,” Jaeger says.
The camp operates seven sessions a year. This time she is hosting children from across America and even as far away as Wales, all expenses paid. They’re selected by hospitals that work with the foundation.
Is there a lot of discussion among the staff, among the children, about death? “Unfortunately a lot of the conversation with the staff is about that,” says Jaeger. “You hear a week or a month, sometimes a couple of days, after they’ve returned home and you hear that news and yes, it rips you apart.”
Jaeger and the staff have a policy about not attending funerals. Instead, they choose to hold on to the laughter, the spirit.
But does she sometimes have to sit down by herself and just let it all out? “I think if I did ever break down,” says Jaeger, “I wouldn’t get back up. So you tend not to do that. Because if you don’t, if you hold onto the horrific part of what cancer does in eating the body away, you lose.”
As each session draws to a close, there is an underlying sadness. It’s the last day of this session and some know they will never see each other again.
What are the departures like? “Hard, really hard,” says Jaeger.
There are no goodbyes here. They sound too final. Just a “see you later.” After the tears have been wiped away and the kids are on their way home, there is still work for Jaeger — fundraising.
Does Jaeger have a life of her own? “This is it,” she says. “I have an endowment to raise — $40 million. You don’t do that by taking weekends off. You don’t do that by taking vacations and holidays.”
In an era of self-indulgence, it is a rare thing to find a celebrity willing to give up a lifestyle of privilege.
How does Jaeger want to be remembered? “I’d rather have the kids remembered,” she says, “because I’ve had those years. It’s funny because I very, very, very rarely cry, but we’re going through a lot of kids here. I don’t need to be remembered.”
She’s a young woman willing even to give up a personal life. “I’m devoting my life, the rest of my life, everyday, every hour, to helping these kids with cancer,” she says. “And I’ve actually gotten a life back that far surpasses everything I could ever imagine. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Because Andrea Jaeger learned early, there are things you do as kids that make all the difference in the world.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2002, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Kid's article

Andrea Jaeger

What could be better than traveling the world, making millions of dollars to play sports? Well, for Andrea Jaeger - there was something better. Helping out kids with terminal cancer.
More than 20 years ago, Andrea became a pro-tennis player. She was only 14 but was one of the best players in the world. She was kinda like the Martina, Anna or Serena of 20 years ago. Andrea was great with the racket but she had lots of problems in school. "Freshmen in high school don't usually have their pictures on the sports page. I was very shy and perceived by other kids as being unapproachable. I was resented, shoved against lockers, had food thrown at me in the cafeteria," says Andrea.

By the time Andrea was 16, she had made it to the finals of Wimbledon and was ranked number two in the world. She was kicking butt in tournaments all over but had lots of trouble with her opponents off the court. They would make fun of her pigtails and braces, especially after Andrea beat them. She made a lot of money, stayed in five star hotels with room sevice but she had no friends on the tour.

Then one day Andrea passed by a toy store and decided to buy a bunch of toys for some sick kids at a nearby hospital. Some of the kids were bald from chemotherapy while others had lost hands or fingers from cancer. They knew what it was like to be pointed at or made fun of - just like Andrea did. She had a great time and continued to visit her friends in the hospital.

By the time Andrea was 19, her tennis career was pretty much over because of several shoulder injuries. She had a nice car and more than a

million bucks in the bank and Andrea wanted to help sick kids. So, she sold her car and used her money to form the Silver Lining Foundation. She would take kids on vacation to Aspen, Colorado -so they could forget about the pain of having cancer. When all her money was gone, Andrea began fund raising so she could help more kids. It was difficult at first but then former tennis star, John McEnroe donated some money. Then others did as well including Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and David Robinson from the San Antonio Spurs.

With the help of donations and a piece of land which was donated by the Benedict family, Andrea's Silver Lining Foundation was able to build a ranch in Aspen where kids with cancer can come for a week to ride horses, fish, swim, play tennis and just hang out. It gives the kids a chance to have fun and meet friends in a setting totally different from a hospital. They also get a chance to talk with other kids about what it's like to have cancer. The Foundation also arranges trips for kids to travel to Wimbledon and the US Open. Over the years, hundreds of kids have come to the ranch to visit Andrea and forget about cancer. It's been great for the kids and great for Andrea who says she enjoys it as much as the kids do. For her work, Andrea was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in May, 2001.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2002, 09:18 PM
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Good luck with the thread Petite-Dally

Her eis the site for her foundation. It has lots of artcles about Andrea nad her work, including some pics

http://www.silverliningfoundation.org/

Articles:

http://www.silverliningfoundation.org/news.htm
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2002, 09:20 PM
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Petite, if you look in the 80's Ladies thread you will see a lot on Andrea. If you see anything I've added there, feel free to copy and paste it into here.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2002, 01:09 AM
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Petite-dally, I loved Andrea as a player. She had the best smile, and I loved those flowing pigtails as she hit those strokes. I loved watching her in the 83 Wimbeldon Final, Though MArtina killed her.

I never knew what trials and tribulations she went through until later. It's great that she has found her calling in the work she does for kids. I wonder if she has a fun hit of tennis now and then........
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2002, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Hey,Rollo,thanks a lot for the links!
I'll read about the Ladies later when i have more time on my hands.1000 thank yous!!!!
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2002, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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ball change pls, i would also like to know if she plays still tennis from time to time.I think she's very busy with her work but maybe for fun...who knows?
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2002, 02:58 AM
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From what I've read, Andrea cannot play tennis b/c of the many shoulder surgeries she's had to undergo over the years. That is why she could not join the Legends Tour when they played a couple of years ago.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2002, 03:10 AM
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i'm still disappointed that andrea never won a slam. nothing against tracy austin but in the battle of the american phenoms i always preferred andrea's game. tracy was just stronger mentally. sorry to bring up an unpleasant topic but does anyone remember who andrea's doubles partner who she fought with physically in the locker room after they lost their match? it was in 1983 or 1984 i believe.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 2002, 12:46 AM
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Is it Wendy Turnbull?
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 2002, 09:03 AM
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Thank you, petite-dally, for posting this!

Good doesn't make noise, noise doesn't make good!

Honour to Andrea!

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2002, 05:20 PM
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Andrea was a phenomenal talent. Too bad about her insane injuries and her insane father.

I'm especially disappointed that she didn't win the FO in '82, she kicked Chrissies butt and then lost a tough one to Martina.

That's what she said!!!
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