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Jayhawks fan diagnosed with cancer inspires team

By Nathan Vickers and Nick Sloan

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    CHICAGO, Illinois (KCTV) — The Kansas Jayhawks won’t be without some superfan support on their run to the Final Four.

JP Bemberger, who has been diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of pediatric cancer, was named an official member of the Kansas men’s basketball team in November 2020 thanks to Team IMPACT. The organization is a nonprofit that helps pair kids facing serious illnesses with college athletic programs.

Kansas players Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, Jalen Wilson and Mitch Lightfoot gathered around a zoom call to surprise JP with the news that that Team IMPACT would be flying him and his family to the Windy City for the Jayhawks’ game Friday evening against Providence.

Safe to say, JP was excited to get the news.

Oh, and JP stands for Jonathan Phog.

“It’s amazing. Loud. It’s cool to be in a big arena and stadium like this,” Bemberger said.

In February, JP was strong enough to walk through Allen Fieldhouse with Jayhawks forward Mitch Lightfoot.

“I’m feeling much stronger, more energetic,” JP said.

The trip to Chicago has been one of a lifetime for the family.

“We enjoy the passion side of it and we really enjoy the game, too,” said Tom Bemberger, JP’s father.

“It’s awesome. I’ve never been to something like this before,” said his mother Michelle.

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