Schilling announces he's been diagnosed with cancer

Schilling announces he's been diagnosed with cancer
February 5, 2014, 5:15 pm
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Former Red Sox star Curt Schilling, currently an ESPN baseball analyst, announced Wednesday that he has cancer.

 "I've always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges," Schilling said in a statement released by ESPN. "We've been presented with another challenge, as I've recently been diagnosed with cancer."

Neither Schilling, 47, nor ESPN said what type of cancer he has been diagnosed with. Nor did they make any comment on his prognosis.

"Shonda (Schilling, Curt's wife) 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 in his statement. "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."

"Our thoughts are with Curt and his family during this challenging time," the network said in a statement. "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."

Schilling -- whose post-baseball career, 38 Studios video-game venture went bankrupt in 2011 and put Rhode Island taxpayers on the hook for $75 million -- recently signed a multiyear extension with ESPN. He is scheduled to join the network's Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team this season.

After a stellar career with Orioles, Astros, Phillies and Diamondbacks, Schilling joined the Red Sox in 2004 and helped lead them to their first World Series championship in 86 years. He also helped the Sox win a second World Series title in 2007, his last year as an active player. He posted a career record of 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA, and his 3,116 strikeouts are the 15th-highest total in baseball history. He also was 11-2, 2.23 in postseason play and, in addition to his two championships with the Red Sox, was part of a World Series title team in Arizona in 2001 and was a member of Philadelphia's National League championship team in 1993.

Schilling also had health problems in 2011, when, in the aftermath of the 38 Studios bankruptcy, he suffered a heart attack. Shonda Schilling also has had cancer; she was diagnosed with stage 2 malignant melanoma in 2001.