Friends remember Catholic University coach killed during charity - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Friends remember Catholic University coach killed during charity ride

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Jamie Roberts Jamie Roberts
WASHINGTON -

At just 24 years old, Jamie Roberts embarked on a selfless journey. She was riding her bike 4,000 miles from Baltimore to Portland to raise money for cancer research. But her journey was cut short when she was hit by a truck and killed while changing one of her tires on the road in Kentucky.

“She was our mentor someone that we just admired, so to lose that, it’s just very hurtful,” said Josie Migash, one of the basketball players Roberts coached at Catholic University. “We are all having a very difficult time with it.”

“It’s been a battle for us to help each other just kind of make it through,” said Matt Donohue, the head women’s basketball coach at Catholic.

Roberts was a great athlete and she was the assistant women's basketball coach at Catholic University. But above all, those who knew her say she was a caring person who always put others needs ahead of her own.

“It was no surprise to any of us when she decided to hop on a bike and ride across the country to raise funds and awareness for people battling cancer,” said Donohue. “That's just who she was and she lived every day like that.”

Roberts made a huge impact on everyone around her -- like the players she worked with.

“She got me through freshman year, and I know she got so many of my teammates through freshman year. And I hope to be half the person that she is,” said Migash.

“She made everyone around her a better person and made everyone relax and always made me feel I could be myself,” said Emily Grabiak, the captain of the team who just graduated from Catholic.

Roberts had a personal reason for participating in the 4K For Cancer ride. Her grandfather died of lung cancer and she had a close friend whose mother and father both won battles against cancer.

But Roberts didn't get to finish her 4,000-mile journey.

“She was about 3,000 miles short of her destination, so there’s been a lot of folks taking up the challenge of getting out there and finishing the journey for her,” said Coach Donohue.

The Facebook page "Miles for Jamie" was created so people can walk, run or bike in honor of Roberts' journey.

“Just seeing the kind of person she was and the kind of things she did for the past 24 years just makes me want to be a better person and follow in her footsteps,” said Grabiak.

“If you knew her, you would know she wouldn’t want us to be sad,” said Migash. “If she were here, she'd be cracking a joke.”

The Ulman Cancer Fund created a fundraiser in Roberts’ name to benefit cancer research.


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