ESPN baseball analyst and former major league pitcher Curt Schilling is battling cancer.
“I’ve always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges,” the 47-year-old three-time World Series champion revealed on Wednesday, in a statement released by ESPN. “We’ve been presented with another challenge, as I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer.”
Last December, it was announced that Schilling would part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball team after signing a multiyear contract, and it has not yet been confirmed if he will still continue in that role.
“Our thoughts are with Curt and his family during this challenging time,” the network responded in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter. “His ESPN teammates wish him continued strength in his cancer fight and we look forward to welcoming him back to our baseball coverage whenever he’s ready.”
The right-handed pitcher joined Major League Baseball in 1988 and over his 20-year career he played for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and finally the Boston Red Sox, where he helped them win World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.
He recently revealed to the Boston Globe that he had suffered a heart attack in 2011 while watching his wife, Shonda, run in the New York City marathon. She has also been treated for cancer, having been diagnosed with stage 2 malignant melanoma in 2001.
Schilling went on to say in his statement: “Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers.
“My father left me with a saying that I’ve carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ Over the years in Boston, the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown us what that means,” he added.
“With my incredibly talented medical team, I’m ready to try and win another big game. I’ve been so very blessed and I feel grateful for what God has allowed my family to have and experience, and I’ll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on.”