17 year old Yadielis Gonzalez from Perth Amboy was honored as the Shining Knight of The Game recently at a Rutgers-Iowa Women’s Basketball game. A member of the Perth Amboy High School Girls’ Basketball team, Yadielis recently battled a brain tumor.
On March 7th, 2023, Yadielis was diagnosed with ependymoma, a cancerous tumor in her brain that wrapped around her spinal-cord. The diagnosis required an emergency surgery at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, an RWJBarnabas Health facility.
Yadielis then received radiation treatment for the next two months at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.
With the help of the incredible medical team at RWJBarnabas Health, Rutgers Cancer Institute, and her family, Yadielis has been able to embark on the road to recovery, allowing her to get back on the basketball court.
Following her arrival on Rutgers campus, Yadielis was treated with an opportunity to meet women’s basketball head coach, Coquese Washington, in the team’s practice gym at the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center. She also enjoyed the opportunity to stand with the players during the performance of the national anthem.
To culminate the Game Day celebration, Yadielis was joined on the court by her sister Jossie and the Rutgers Scarlet Knight Mascot. Her brother Yalianis, Stepdad, Ismael, Uncle Lewis and Mom, Dee were in the crowd as Yadielis raised her sword in triumph as she was saluted for her bravery and strength to fight.
Rutgers Athletics and RWJBarnabas Health designed the Shining Knight of the Game honor to lift the spirits and shine the spotlight on a patient battling healthcare challenges.
Yadielis and each Shining Knight of the Game honoree will be enshrined in a Rutgers Athletics facility highlighting their unique game-day experience.