BOSTON (CBS) — Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling announced during a fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund on Wednesday morning that the cancer he battled earlier this year was oral cancer, something he believes was brought on by chewing tobacco.
“I thought it was time to tell a little bit of the story,” Schilling told WBZ-TV on Wednesday. “I know some people were curious, so it seemed like the perfect venue to do it.”
Back in February, Schilling announced that he had cancer, though he did not specify which type of cancer. In May, Schilling took the field at Fenway Park as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the 2004 championship team, and in June, he announced that his cancer was in remission.
“I’m tired. I fatigue pretty easy right now, so I’m still trying to get my energy and strength back,” Schilling said Wednesday.
Schilling spent just four years of his 20-season career with the Red Sox, but he’ll forever be a part of Boston sports history for his performance in 2004, when he helped deliver the first Red Sox championship in 86 years. He won another World Series with the team in 2007.
Back in June, Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died of salivary gland cancer at the age of 54 after battling the disease for the better part of five years. The passing of Gwynn shed a light on the harm that chewing tobacco can do, and Schilling’s announcement will add to that attention.
“I’m very much day-to-day right now,” Schilling said. “We’ve still got four kids and a family to take care of. I don’t know how it’s going to play out. I’ll just let it play out however it has to.”
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