Billiards Legend Jeanette Lee Reveals She Has Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer: I'll 'Never Give Up'

"I intend to bring the same resolve I brought to the billiards table to this fight," Jeanette Lee says of her diagnosis

Jeanette Lee
Jeanette Lee. Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Jeanette Lee, a professional pool player often known by her nickname "The Black Widow," is battling stage 4 ovarian cancer.

Lee, 49, announced her terminal diagnosis Wednesday in a release published by multiple outlets, including the American Poolplayers Association (APA) and

A single mother to three girls — Savannah, 10, Chloe, 11, and Cheyenne, 16 — Lee said in the release, "I intend to bring the same resolve I brought to the billiards table to this fight."

"Jim Valvano so eloquently told us to 'Never give up.' I owe it to my three young daughters to do exactly that," she added.

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Jeanette Lee
Jeanette Lee and her children. Go Fund Me

A GoFundMe has been created in Lee's name, and its purpose is to "ensure that the girls are appropriately cared for and can afford to go to college."

"Jeanette's largest and most pressing concern is the well being of her three young girls," the fundraiser's description reads, in part. "The future care, well-being and education of her girls is the biggest cause of anxiety for her."

It also went into more details about her diagnosis: "The cancer has fully metastasized into her lymph nodes and the prognosis is dire. At this stage, her doctors say she has a few months to a year left to live."

"In typical Black Widow fashion, she has vowed to fight the progress of her disease as fiercely as possible with both chemotherapy, which has already begun, and a succession of upcoming surgeries," the description continued.

Jeanette Lee
Jeanette Lee in 2011. Jason Kempin/Getty

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Lee began playing pool in 1989, and has been in the sport professionally for 30 years. She was ranked the world's No. 1 female pool player in the '90s and has come out on top of various competitions over the years, including the 2001 World Games in Akira, Japan. She also won $25,000 in 1999 and 2003 by clinching victory in the ESPN Ladies' Tournament of Champions.

Author of The Black Widow's Guide to Killer Pool, Lee was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2013 and, four years prior, became a spokeswoman for the APA. Billiards Digest consistently counts Lee among their Most Powerful People in pool.

Lee, a New York native, has also battled scoliosis since childhood — a condition that her longtime agent Tom George (who is organizing the GoFundMe) told The Washington Post may have played a role in Lee not picking up on symptoms.

"She's in a lot of pain all the time, anyway, so she didn't notice any difference," George said.

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