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Lena fights her way to remission

  • Lena and her brother had a blast bonding over their favorite sport!

  • After a long day of jiujitsu, Lena refueled with some much needed ice cream!

  • The Gracie Brothers demonstrated techniques with Lena in front of the room.

“ Lena’s strength shone in the ring, and her confidence soared. ”

- Lena’s mom, Elizabeth


Six-year-old Lena is a fighter, just ask her about the jujitsu classes she does with her dad and big brother. She takes challenges seriously after facing the biggest battle of her life: a rare form of cancer requiring 43 weeks of chemo treatments. Lena’s fight was a long one, but she came out victorious with clear scans and the word “remission”!

Once Lena was cleared for physical activity, she set out to regain her strength. She practiced jujitsu at home until her muscles were strong again, and she continued to watch videos of the best fighters for inspiration. Lena’s favorite trainers, the Gracie brothers, come from a long line of jujitsu fighters, inspiring people all over the world to learn the art of combat. When Lena found out they were hosting a training camp in Orlando, she wished to learn from them.


The camp Lena chose was called Bullyproof, focusing on how to stay safe if someone bigger is a threat. While most children may be intimidated by the thought of facing an opponent, Lena had experience. Cancer didn’t win, and neither would anyone else.

As the Gracie brothers observed Lena’s skills during each training session, they selected her to spar with the main trainers. She was a star in the ring, and that moment changed everything.


A wish can be the spark that ignites hope for a child and their family, giving them confidence and joy again. For Lena, meeting and training with the Gracie brothers inspired her to believe in herself and her abilities. With her strength, she can do anything.

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