White Sox closer Hendriks announces he has cancer
CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox closing pitcher Liam Hendriks announced he has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma early Sunday evening, according to a statement posted to his Instagram account.
The statement reads as follows:
“As a professional athlete, I have always been mindful to try and use my position in the public eye to the most positive ends possible by shining a light on causes or issues that touch close to home for myself, my wife, and my family. It is in that spirit that I want to share some personal health news I have learned in the past few days, and do so on my own terms.
Recently I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Hearing the word “Cancer” came as a shock to my wife and I, as it does to millions of families each year. However, I am resolved to embrace the fight and overcome this new challenge with the same determination I have used when facing other obstacles in my life.
My treatment begins tomorrow, and I am confident that I will make a full recovery and be back on the mound as soon as possible. I know with the support of my wife, my family, my teammates and the Chicago White Sox organization, along with the treatment and care from my doctors, I will get through this.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 73.8%. NCI also says that some forms are more aggressive while others are slow growing.
White Sox Senior Vice President and General Manager Rick Hahn issued the following statement on behalf of the organization:
“Our thoughts and reactions at this time are for Liam the person, not Liam the baseball player. I know the entire Chicago White Sox organization, our staff, his teammates, and certainly White Sox fans, will rally in support of Liam and Kristi during the coming months. Knowing everyone involved, especially Liam, we are optimistic he will pitch again for the White Sox as soon as viable. In the meantime, we all will do everything in our power to support our teammate and his family as they face this challenge, while also respecting their privacy.”
From the instant he arrived on the South Side, Hendriks has been integral in giving back to the Chicago community. In fact, giving back was a priority even before he decided to don a White Sox uniform.
“On all of the Zoom meetings we had with all of the teams we met with, we said it’s extremely important for us to be able to immerse ourselves in the community,” Kristi Hendriks — Liam’s wife — told mlb.com during an interview for an April 2021 article about the free agency process. “We find the best way is by volunteering and giving back.”
Hendriks was the White Sox nominee for the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award, given yearly to the MLB player who best represents the game of baseball through “extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field,” according to mlb.com.
During 2022, Hendriks donated over 1,400 meals from local, minority and family-owned businesses to essential workers during the COVID-19 public health crisis, provided over 300 patients, family members and healthcare workers at a local children’s hospital with White Sox-themed gifts as a part of an Opening Day philanthropy event, and provided a woman battling ALS with a customized wheelchair, among many other contributions made that included supporting local first responders and the Chicago LGBTQ+ community.
On the field, Hendriks is a 12-year MLB veteran, who has also been elected a member of the American League All-Star Team in both of his seasons playing on the South Side. In two seasons, Hendriks has compiled a 12-7 record with a 2.66 ERA and 75 total saves.
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