Robert E. Lee students support classmate after life-changing surgery

Quiet, but hardworking, student athlete, Jacob Spillers, 17, came to open soccer tryouts his freshmen year with little experience but a lot of grit and determination, says Robert E. Lee Boys Soccer Coach Martin Germany.
Coach Germany admits that at first he didn’t think Jacob should make the cut for the freshmen team, but the assistant coach at the time convinced him to give Jacob a year to put his determination to work. Jacob improved each season, beginning on the Junior Varsity B team as a freshman, then becoming a starter for the junior varsity team his sophomore and junior years.
“Jacob is an athlete who does whatever is asked of him for his team to succeed,” Coach Germany said. “He will ask questions about how to get better and then he works to implement those skills. He never complains about being taken out of a game, playing time or running.”
Excited to prepare for his senior year as player on the Red Raider varsity squad, Jacob attended his routine physical last spring and told his doctor about a sore spot on his shin.  An x-ray would later show possible Osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that starts in the bones, in his right upper tibia, or shinbone. Jacob received treatments from MD Anderson and on November 6, doctors amputated part of his leg in a procedure called Rotationplasty.
Students and faculty at Robert E. Lee have recently come together to help support Jacob through various projects, including collecting approximately $200 to help with travel costs to MD Anderson and close to 40 gallons of Gatorade to help Jacob through his recovery. The soccer team then raised funds to purchase supplies for students and teachers in the construction class to build a wheelchair ramp for Jacob’s home.
On November 17,  Texas Roadhouse will donated proceeds to help fund Jacob’s wheelchair ramp and other needs he may have in the future.  According to Brian Pendelton, REL Dean of Student Life, the school plans to also hold future fundraisers at Texas Roadhouse in the hope that they continuously have funds available to help students in need.
“There are tremendous things happening by various student groups who come together to take care of the needs of others,” Mr. Pendelton said. “REL is partnering with Roadhouse to raise money for these projects and to allow for others to be blessed through the work of our awesome students.”