Jax's Crazy Awesome Tale: A woman's pursuit to defy medical odds - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Jax's Crazy Awesome Tale: A woman's pursuit to defy medical odds and play football

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (KTTC) -

It's hard enough for a healthy football player to avoid injury, but for someone with a serious brain condition it would seem impossible.  One woman has been defying the odds for years, and is trying to bring her professional women's football career to Minnesota or Wisconsin.

"Football is my joy in life," said linebacker Rosie Robinson, "It's the one thing that makes me happy, and I'm pretty good at it."

On the field Robinson is known as Jax, and she's easy to spot.  She is either wearing sunglasses or has a visor on her football helmet.  An arachnoid cyst in her brain leaves her with daily headaches, possible seizures, and a sensitivity to light.

"He told me when I needed my surgery I would never play football again, and about six months later I told him I was going to play football, and I asked him what would need to be done in order to play," said Robinson.

Jax went deep, removing the cyst and passing a number of neurological scans.

"It hasn't shifted or gotten any larger, so he had no reason not to clear me to play," said Robinson of her removed cyst.

A linebacker by trade, Jax is constantly under fire.  Her ability to tackle with the correct form is paramount.

"You should always keep your head up, and never lead with your head.  It is probably more important for me," said Robinson as she leaned on a tackling sled.

Brandon Pelinka is the Head Coach of the Minnesota Vixen.  The team is the longest running professional women's football team in the country.

"Once she was able to play again, and contacted me, I was super excited because I knew how good she was before," said Pelinka of Jax's abilities.

Pelinka is looking for new talent, and is eyeing Robinson as the missing piece of motivation for the team.

"Hey, if I'm having any kind of trouble, look what she went through.  I can get through it too.  It's going to be a big help," said Pelinka talking about Robinson's potential impact on the team.

The Vixen nearly missed the playoffs last year. Jax knows she can help despite keeping her family on edge.

"Half of my family thinks I'm crazy.  The other half thinks I'm awesome," laughed Robinson.

All her family has to do is look in her eyes to know she's in control.

"Yeah it really is a no nonsense type of look," said Pelinka of her determination, "She's here for business. She loves this game. You can tell she's serious about it. You can see the aggressiveness, pure attitude, and the love of the game. That's what you want most in your players."

It's that concentration that keeps the pain at bay.

"Yeah, as long as I have something to focus on it's not too noticeable," admitted Robinson.

The Minnesota Vixen may not be the beneficiaries of Robinson's love of football when the regular season kicks off next spring.  She's now playing for the Madison Blaze on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi. 

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