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Lester throws to one more hitter

Posted by David D'Onofrio  October 18, 2012 05:43 PM

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As it turns out, Mark Teixeira wasn't the final hitter Jon Lester faced in 2012. And neither the Yankee nor his teammates were anywhere near close to the toughest hitter the Red Sox lefty would pitch to this year.

Rather, both of those distinctions belong to Justin Miller -- a 9-year-old who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age 3, and stepped into the cage against his fellow cancer survivor as part of a video shoot for the "Stand Up To Cancer" campaign.

Miller chose to wear No. 5 on his jersey to signify the number of times he's beaten cancer already, and according to is part of a mission to raise $14.5 million over the next four years in support of a "Dream Team" funded by Stand Up To Cancer and the St. Baldrick's Foundation, and focused on pediatric cancer research. That's a cause close to the heart of Lester, who spearheads the NVRQT campaign on behalf of the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, and who subsequently leapt at the chance to pitch to Miller.

"You can't quit, you can't stop fighting. If you're struggling that day, you just have to find a way to get through it and keep fighting," Lester told "I know in the last five years we've made a lot of strides in the right direction as far as getting cures for different kinds of cancer. Hopefully we can continue to go in that right direction."

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About the author

Dave D'Onofrio follows Boston's pro players away from the field, court or ice, covering their interests and activities in the community and beyond. A Massachusetts native, once his dreams of More »

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