Kevin Frandsen and 19 for Life for recently profiled in the Lehigh Valley newspaper, The Morning Call. The entire article can be read here.
Kevin Frandsen goes through the usual routine when he steps up to the plate — smoothing the dirt in the batter’s box with his feet, taking a couple of practice swings, adjusting his batting glove and helmet. The 30-year-old Lehigh Valley IronPigs second baseman adds one more relatively unnoticed gesture to his routine — reaching back over his right shoulder for a quick pat on the back before stepping in to face down the opposing pitcher. Beneath Frandsen’s jersey, just below the neck, is a tattoo with the letters “DJ” superimposed over the No. 19. The body work honors the memory of his older brother, David Frandsen Jr. — D.J., as he was known to family and friends, who lost a 19-year-battle with Wilms’ tumor, a form of recurring kidney cancer, on Sept. 16, 2004. He was 25.
“It’s just a friendly reminder that he’s always with me,” Frandsen said of his ritual.
To keep D.J.’s spirit and memory alive, the Frandsen family and friends founded and operate 19 For Life (www.19forlife.org), a foundation in Frandsen’s hometown of San Jose, Calif., that provides scholarships to high school students throughout the San Francisco Bay area, equipment for local medical facilities that specialize in pediatric cancer treatment and funds for cancer research…