Skip to main content

Jacoby Jones' Family Tie With Breast Cancer


Ravens receiver/returner Jacoby Jones has a special mission on Sunday afternoon.

Score for his aunts.

Jones will be decked out in pink along with the entire Ravens team and coaches. But breast cancer awareness has a particularly special meaning to Jones.

His aunt, Jeanette Larkins, is a breast cancer survivor. Another "aunt," Denise Spellman, though not blood related, is also a breast cancer survivor.

"For them to be able to go through that and fight that, that shows how strong women are," Jones said.

Larkins, Jones' mother's sister, is a "proud 53." She was diagnosed on Sept. 10, 2009, her birthday.

Larkins had just gotten a mammogram in June, which came back negative. A couple months later, she felt a lump in one of her breasts. She got another mammogram, which again came back negative.

At the persistence of her husband and another doctor, Larkins eventually got a sonogram, which showed that she indeed had cancer. The news not only came on her birthday, but also on the same day her brother died.

"I must have cried for two days straight," she said. "That was a very hard time for me. It required a lot of family support."

Jones was focused on football with the Houston Texans, but often called to check in on her and ask if there was anything he could do. It pained him to see her in so much pain.

Larkins had a double mastectomy on Sept. 29, just 19 days after her diagnosis. She immediately underwent chemotherapy, which stripped her of her hair and energy. But she fought through it.

"I'm a survivor through all that," she said. "I'm a five-year breast cancer survivor this year. I'm sooo excited about that."

Jones says he got his strength from the women in his life – his mother and aunts.

"To see them go through that and be able to stay strong, it's uplifting," Jones said. "To be by their side and see them go through and come out on top, it's a blessing."

Larkins said she always likes seeing the football players decked out in pink during the month of October.

"It makes me feel like somebody cares, that the NFL cares," she said. "They're proud in their pink and not thinking they'd never wear it. I love it!"

Jones has not only looked good in pink, but played well in it too. In 2012, he scored on a record 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys. Last year in pink, he scored an 11-yard touchdown against the Packers in his first game back from a knee injury.

After the touchdown return in 2012, Jones gave his aunt the football in the stands. Larkins will fly up from New Orleans to be in the stands once again this Sunday. She'll be sitting in the end zone and awaiting another ball.

"He's going to have to run something back," she said with a laugh.

"Hopefully, man, hopefully," Jones said with a wink.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content