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UB Athletics mourns passing of former student-athlete Jake Madonia


BUFFALO -- Former University at Buffalo student-athlete and Mid-American Conference Champion Jake Madonia passed away on Tuesday morning following a lengthy battle with cancer.
"Jake touched so many of us and my life has been enriched for knowing him," said director and track and field head coach Vicki Mitchell. "He bravely battled cancer for 10 years and he showed us what true strength means.  Words cannot truly express the feeling of his loss."
Madonia was a thrower on the UB Track and Field team from 2005 through 2010.  He was named the top newcomer during his first season and the most improved athlete in 2006-07 following his first trip to the NCAA East Regionals.
In 2008, Madonia was diagnosed with a synovial sarcoma in his left foot.  He redshirted his junior season, while he went through treatments and returned to the Bulls to compete in the 2008-09 season.  Madonia's crowning achievement came during his senior season when he claimed the MAC Indoor Championship in the shotput with a throw of 59-2.25 (18.04m).
Madonia, a native of Rome, NY, graduated from UB with three degrees, including a B.S. in Nursing.  He went on to work at Roswell Park Cancer Institute as a registered nurse as his way of giving back.  He was awarded the DAISY award in 2014 at Roswell for extraordinary service and for being an outstanding role model in the nursing community and an asset to the Pediatrics Department.
Madonia again began battling cancer in 2012.  For the last six years, he bravely fought through multiple tumors, surgeries, and procedures, always doing so with a positive outlook on his life as well as those around him.
Thoughts and prayers go out to Jake's wife Lorinna, his daughter Nalina, and to the entire Madonia family.

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