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“Can I Dare to Hope?”- Shaun White Was Emotionally Devastated After Close Friend Got Diagnosed With Stage Four Cancer

Published 05/20/2022, 10:15 AM EDT

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via Reuters

Although Shaun White retired from snowboarding after the Beijing Winter Olympics, one of his most passionate supporters is going through a battle of her own. Esther Lee, White’s trainer, is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

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While stage 4 cancer is terminal, the close friends remain optimistic about the future. But what went through Shaun’s mind when he first heard the news?


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Shaun White was devastated by the news

Two years before the Beijing Winter Games, Lee was diagnosed with cancer. She called her dear friend to give him the news. White broke down in tears as he said, “What’s next? Is there hope? Can I dare to hope?” But no one was sure at the time. Nobody knew what would happen.

At the time, Lee had a cantaloupe-sized tumor in her chest. The three-time Olympic gold medal winner shares a deep bond with his physical therapist. She has been there for him, and when the time came, he stepped up and did the same.


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White wished for nothing more than Lee’s good health. In an interview, he said he couldn’t understand how an amazing person who only gives to others had something like this happen to them. Shaun also added he loves her more than anything, even the Olympics or “any of this stuff.”

Lee had an average life expectancy of a year, but it has been two years since her initial diagnosis. White is elated because he still has Esther with him, as he did not think he would still have her around. Before working with Shaun, Lee worked with Serena and Venus Williams full-time. She toured with them for six years before deciding to settle down in Los Angeles, where she met White.

 Lee is grateful to Shaun


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Before Shaun’s final run during the Beijing games, Lee posted a heartwarming post on her Instagram, expressing her gratitude for the legend. She said she would forever be thankful to Shaun for his love and support. Lee also talked about how Shaun motivated her on her journey to conquer cancer.

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A post shared by Esther Lee (@estalee11)

Lee further added she was honored to be beside Shaun in the final chapter of his legendary career. She wrote, “He deserves all our love, loudest cheers, and respect. Let’s go, team Shaun.”


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Shaun’s achievements are only half the reason behind his immense popularity. People may forget your achievements or greatest accomplishment, but they’ll never forget the good deeds you did for them.



Naman Gopal Srivastava

350 articles

Naman Gopal is a US Sports Writer at EssentiallySports. Naman is an Undergraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor’s degree in Cinematography from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology. An ardent fan of basketball and soccer, Naman was once a national level soccer player himself.

Edited By: Simar Singh Wadhwa