Baseball Great Gary Carter's Worsening Cancer Fight Doesn't Break His Spirit

Gary CarterSad news out of the sports world today: An MRI shows that Gary Carter, 57, a 19-year baseball veteran and National Hall of Famer, has new brain tumors, after being treated for four small brain tumors last year. If you haven't heard of Carter, he was one of the best catchers in Major League Baseball, playing mostly for the Montreal Expos and New York Mets.

Not only was he elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he's in the New York Mets Hall of Fame, as well as the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (bet you didn't know there were so many?). His number, 8, was retired by the Expos in 2003.

To say this guy had an amazing career playing baseball is an understatement. But his battle with cancer, unfortunately, has not gone as well as everyone had hoped. It goes to show how cancer, even despite all the recent advances, can have devastating effects on anyone, from relatives to actors to sports stars. 

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Carter complained about having headaches and being forgetful back in May, and they found the first tumors then. He went through intensive chemo and radiation at Duke University, but seemed to have gotten worse during the winter. After falling on Christmas Day, he underwent an MRI due to a torn rotator cuff, and sadly the new tumors were found.

So terrible for a man who not only succeeded professionally, he has a loving family as well. Carter's been married since 1975 and they have three children. One of them, Kimmy Carter Bloemers, regularly updates the family blog and shared with the world their sad news:

Dr. V told my mom that there are now several new spots/tumors on my dad's brain. I write these words with tears because I am so sad for my dad. Dr. Jimmy Harris will be coming to my parent's house this evening to talk to the family about the next step. I will continue to keep you all updated. Love to everyone and thank you for the prayers.

Now the family and doctors are faced with the harrowing decision of whether or not to continue treatment. We may give ego-crazed athletes a hard time for their bone-headed antics nowadays, but Carter is one of the good guys. He's an extremely active philanthropist and was recently quoted as saying that "he wants to feel better so he can continue to help others."

Sometimes it takes a story like this, about a professional, famous, world-respected athlete who's also an all-around good guy having to face this type of battle, to help put our lives in perspective. Cancer is so difficult for so many people, yet Gary continues to be an inspiration to find a cure as fast as possible.

Are you a fan of Gary Carter? How has this sad news affected you?


Image via slgckgc/Flickr

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