Nightly News
For Andrea Jaeger, playing tennis is a habit.
By Dawn Fratangelo Correspondent
NBC News
updated 2/2/2007 7:26:41 PM ET 2007-02-03T00:26:41

At a morning church service, you might recognize Sister Andrea. She's Andrea Jaeger, the former top-ranked professional tennis player. Four months ago she became a Dominican nun.

Dawn Fratangelo: "You said that even as a little girl you felt as though God was calling you."

Jaeger: "I felt that in nursery school. And, as I developed there, obviously the relationship grew."
 

It seems a natural progression for Jaeger, who, for two decades, has been inspiring sick children, like those in a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hospital when injuries ended her tennis career.

Jaeger used her winnings to start a foundation and a camp for kids with cancer, giving them breaks from doctors and dreaded news.

"Kids stop sharing when they're in pain and they're suffering," Jaeger says. "And if we can allow children to find their voice, lives will be changed."

Alicia Harding was at the camp in 1994. "I had ostero sarcoma," she says.

Today, at 26, her health is back and she's working with Andrea to help others. Like Samantha Miller.

"It gives me hope to let me know that there's someone else that made it," Miller says.

Cancer survivor Tripp Robbins still considers the camp home. "This is the only place where I've been, you know in all of the world, that I feel total peace," Robbins says.

Now an Army Ranger in Iraq, he and Andrea exchanged gifts. She gave him her Olympic ring. He gave her his dog tags.

"This is Trip saying, 'I'm right there in your heart, and you're right there in mine' " Jaeger says. 

Sister Andrea is still a free spirit, and proving that devotion has no limit.

"When you touch a person's life once, in a pure way, genuine way, it's so powerful it can last forever," she says.

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