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Rocklin teen loses battle to cancer

By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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Jesse Leimbach, a 16-year-old Rocklin resident, lost his battle to cancer last Thursday. Leimbach was a sophomore at Rocklin High School and was a member of the boy’s junior varsity basketball team. In 2006, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a cancer affecting the bone. Last year, Leimbach had his wish granted through the Make-A-Wish foundation, where he was able to attend the Pro Bowl in Hawaii to watch the game and meet the team. Leimbach’s grandmother, Marion Leimbach, said Jesse passed away in the hospital after being admitted March 29. Rocklin High School Assistant Principal Mary Anne Knox said that Leimbach had a lot of friends on campus. “He made a very deep and great impression with our basketball squads,” she said. Marion said she’ll remember Jesse’s determination and spirt. “He touched so many kids, he was very inspirational and his love,” she said. “He wanted to be a great athlete.” The students at Rocklin High were notified and counselors are prepared to help, Knox said. Gina Lacoste, the counselor for sophomore students at Rocklin High School, described Jesse as a strong, goal-oriented teen. He made sure he had his classes lined up for next year and never gave up, Lacoste said. “You would have never known he was sick,” she said. The Placer Herald met with the Leimbach family last year after his wish was granted. Marion said Jesse was a tough kid and impressed doctors with his strength. She said she was also in awe of her grandson’s braveness. “You don’t have a choice. You wouldn’t have a choice but to be brave,” Jesse told The Placer Herald last year. “I have big dreams I wanted to do. Go to the NFL, and be somebody.” Marion said she’s thankful for the people in Rocklin during this tough time. “They’ve been so supportive and caring,” she said. “I can’t thank them enough.” Services were held Tuesday at Granite Spring Church in Lincoln. Donations can be made in Jesse Leimbach’s name to Keaton Raphael Memorial. To make a donation, go to www.childcancer.org. Contact Lauren Weber at laurenw@goldcountrymedia.com.