June 5, 2011
BERKELEY - ESPN aired an in-depth feature on former Cal coxswain Jill Costello Sunday, from the time she was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2009 until her death from the disease a year later.
Ben Webber, an ESPN producer, read a feature on Costello that ran in Sports Illustrated this past fall and became interested in her story. He and his film crew spent time with the women's crew program in the spring and interviewed Costello's parents, head coach Dave O'Neill and several Golden Bear rowers. The piece initially ran early Sunday morning and will repeat Sunday night.
Costello, a non-smoker, was diagnosed with an advanced stage of lung cancer June 2009 and, after bravely battling the disease for a year, passed away in June 2010. Despite undergoing numerous chemotherapy treatments, she coxed Cal to the Pac-10 championship and a runner-up NCAA finish in May 2010. Costello was named the Pac-10 Athlete of the Year, and she graduated with a degree in political economy after making the Pac-10 All-Academic second team.
Through Costello's association with the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, Jog for Jill has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for lung cancer research. In March, the foundation created a new advisory board, called Jill's Legacy, made up of 21 promising young professionals who have been personally touched by lung cancer. More information, including dates for future Jogs for Jill around the country, can be found at jillslegacy.org.