Cancer. Just the mention of the hellish word brings about sobering emotions in all of us. Almost every person on the planet has been touched, either directly or indirectly, by this cruel disease.
Even if you haven’t personally experienced cancer, the odds are that someone you love has. No one is immune from the terrifying effects, not even completely healthy professional athletes. Anyone’s life can completely change at any moment with one diagnosis.
Every so often a story sends shockwaves across all of the world to remind us that life is so much bigger than sports. Trey Mancini’s fight with colon cancer is one of those stories (mlb.com).
Career Year in 2019 to Unexplainable Fatigue to Start 2020
2019 was a career year at the plate for Mancini. The Baltimore Orioles slugger smashed 35 home runs and drove in 97 runs (both of which are career highs). The first baseman and outfielder also posted career bests in both hits and runs scored. He seemed to be coming into his own as a big league hitter and couldn’t wait for the 2020 season to begin.
In February of 2020, Mancini arrived at the Orioles spring training complex eager to get started. However, he had been dealing with an unusual amount of tiredness for several weeks. Many folks thought it was some sort of gluten intolerance but even dietary changes did not seem to improve things.
A slew of tests were run. In late February, Mancini and his family received the devastating diagnosis of Stage 3 colon cancer. Surgery was completed just a few days later, and a long battle with chemotherapy was prescribed for six months.
The Fight of His Life
Every other week, Mancini would drive himself (because of Covid restrictions) to Johns Hopkins University for his chemo treatments. Each treatment was over four hours long and usually resulted in at least five straight days of pure misery. To make matters worse, Mancini suffered a dangerous allergic reaction to a cancer fighting drug called Oxaliplatin.
Mancini’s Orioles teammates had t-shirts made with “F16HT” printed up (16 is Mancini’s jersey number). The entire Orioles organization provided lots of moral support and even the governor of Maryland called Mancini to give him encouragement. Sara Perlman, Mancini’s girlfriend, took care of him on a day to day basis.
Back on the Field
Mancini completed his last treatment in September of last year and immediately started training for the 2021 season. He trained like a madman the entire offseason to gain back the strength needed to endure a big league schedule. The 29-year old’s progress has been nothing short of phenomenal.
At the time of this writing, Mancini is the MLB leader in runs batted in with 41! He also has ten homers. More importantly though, Mancini is helping others who are fighting cancer.
Mancini partnered with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and helped raise $80,000 to assist others in the fight of their life. He vows to keep that good work going through his new foundation. Even if you are not an Orioles fan (or heck, even a baseball fan), you have to love Trey Mancini.