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Penn State’s Jahan Dotson inspires his mother in her fight against cancer

Robin Dotson gave her oldest son life 21 years ago, and now he’s doing the same for her.

Jahan Dotson’s mother is battling multiple myeloma for the second time after being in remission for two years.

Despite undergoing exhausting chemotherapy, she’s made it to every Penn State football game this year for her son’s sake and her own.

“He makes her just shine,” said Al Dotson, Jahan’s father and Robin’s husband. “He makes her just come to life. He makes her see there’s something to live for. That’s big. That’s really big.”

Jahan’s having a terrific senior season for the Nittany Lions. He’s one of the best wide receivers in the country.

Last weekend he enjoyed a wonderful performance at Maryland, tying a career high with 11 catches, setting a school single-game record with 242 yards and scoring three touchdowns in a 31-14 win.

Making it even more special for Dotson was that about 20 relatives and friends were there, including some who had never seen him play in person. He made his way to them afterwards, embracing them and thanking them for coming. He saved the biggest hug for his mother.

“It’s tough knowing that my mom is going through something,” Jahan said. “It’s very tough on people. It’s very tough on our family. All we can do is have her back through all of this and support her as much as possible.”

Robin was first diagnosed with myeloma in 2019, shortly before Jahan’s sophomore year and first full season as a starter. Wearing his No. 5 jersey, she watched from her hospital bed when he made the first two touchdown catches of his career against Buffalo.

She underwent a stem cell transplant and eventually regained her strength and her health, at least until earlier this year. She became sick at their home in Nazareth and spent two weeks in a Pennsylvania hospital before she returned to the one in New Jersey where she was originally treated.

Doctors there told her the myeloma had come back.

“That was real, real, real rough,” Al Dotson said earlier this week. “She’s going through aggressive chemo right now. We pray that all the numbers come back and that everything pans out so she doesn’t have to go through a whole stem cell (transplant again).”

Robin’s inner strength has inspired her son, who’s putting together one of the greatest seasons by a Penn State receiver. Jahan told Big Ten Network earlier this fall, “My mom’s fight is basically my fight.”

He’s always appreciated what his parents have done for him and the sacrifices they’ve made.

Robin and Al moved from East Orange, N.J., to Nazareth to raise their two sons in a safer environment. They’ve each worked two jobs and have commuted 60 to 90 minutes one way to get to them.

Al Dotson said he saw something in Jahan from an early age and pushed him to reach his potential.

“He’s been basically like my rock,” Jahan said. “My biggest motivator. My biggest critic. Literally the best dad you could ask for. Ever since I was a young kid, he’s always believed in me more than I believed in myself. He’s always told me the things I could do some day.”

When Jahan wanted to quit his middle school basketball team, Al wouldn’t allow him.

“In my house, it’s ‘finish,’ ” Al said. “You start it, you finish it. Plain and simple. He knows that. He knows my motto.”

Dotson became an all-state football player at Nazareth and a PIAA track champion in the long jump and the 400 relay. Now he’s on track to finish his career as one of the top three or four receivers that Penn State has ever had.

“No, I’m not surprised at all because I’ve always told him to believe,” his father said. “I’ve always told him, ‘You are the greatest. Believe it. No ifs, ands or buts.’ He believes it. You see it.”

Jahan Dotson has the hands of a sculptor and the movements of a gazelle. He’s surprisingly strong, and not just on the football field.

He’s managed to focus on his game and his studies despite his mother’s ongoing battle.

“He has a hard job to do,” Al Dotson said about his son. “He has to get to practice. He has to do his classwork. It amazes me.”

Jahan has four games left in his college career, starting Saturday against Michigan. His mom will be there, “by hook or by crook,” his father said.

Then it’s off to the NFL. Jahan hopes his mother will be there to watch him as a pro. All he can do now is to keep lifting her spirits with his play.

“I know it’s his mother, but it’s my wife,” Al said. “To see her moving like she’s moving now is really, really good. She’s doing really good.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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