BOSTON (CBS) — Former MLB pitcher and member of the 2004 and 2007 World Series-winning Red Sox teams Curt Schilling announced that he’s been diagnosed with cancer.
Schilling, 47, did not say what type of cancer he has in a statement made through ESPN, his current employer.
“I’ve always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges,” Schilling said in the statement. “We’ve been presented with another challenge, as I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer.”
The right-hander pitched in 20 MLB seasons for the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox, winning World Series in 2001 with Arizona and ’04 and ’07 with Boston.
“[My wife] 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,” Schilling said. “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.
“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.”
“Schill is a fighter of the highest caliber,” said Gabe Kapler, who was Curt’s teammate on the Red Sox. “There isn’t a soul alive better equipped to handle a challenge of this magnitude. A man like Curt will have a stampede of willing spirits to support him, myself included.”
“I am going to be praying for Curt,” Kevin Millar told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell shared a text he sent Curt this morning. “You are tough! And you will meet this as you did every 5 days with a ball in your hand! Know that others are willing to help when needed. Stay strong!”
ESPN also issued a statement about Schilling.
“Our thoughts are with Curt and his family during this challenging time,” the statement said. “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 Red Sox sent out a tweet in support of Schilling, saying, “Sending heartfelt thoughts to Curt Schilling and his family during this difficult time.”
Schilling’s former teammate Jon Lester also weighed in.