(NEW YORK) — Philadelphia Phillies legend Mike Schmidt beat cancer and is sharing his story with the hope of inspiring others.
The baseball Hall of Famer was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma in 2013, undergoing surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Today, he is cancer-free.
Schmidt partnered with the pharmaceutical company Merck and Your Cancer Game Plan to provide people with tools and resources to fight their personal cancer battles.
ABC News recently spoke with Schmidt about his new partnership. He offered tips on how others can work through the disease, and what he learned from his experience.
Schmidt’s first tip for those battling cancer is to form a team. He tells ABC News, “Let people into your life… they’re good cures for something like we’re going through.”
Starting with his family, he formulated a team for emotional support. He also researched what melanoma is and how it is treated, better understanding his disease and staying in constant communication with his doctors. Even today, cancer-free, Schmidt speaks with his doctors on a consistent basis.
Schmidt now advocates for consistent and open communication with family members and medical professionals. He tells ABC News, “Team has always been a great thing to me… you have more people trying to reach one conclusion. One goal.”
Receiving so much support from his family reminded Schmidt of the power of positive thinking, and recommends others who were recently diagnosed or have cancer to find positive people in their lives for support.
As he gained a better understanding of melanoma through his relationships with his medical team, Schmidt focused on his diet and eating more nutritious foods. Along with positive thinking, he learned how the food and others put in their bodies can make a difference in their health.
Facing the prospect of possibly saying goodbye to his wife and daughter, Schmidt’s faith served as a pillar of support as he battled cancer. He would ask himself the question, “Are you gonna make it?”
Fear settled in with both him and his family.
To this day, he still relies on his faith because he faces the possibility of the cancer returning.
For Schmidt, prayer and a reliance on faith was a personal choice. His hope is those fighting cancer turn to faith in whoever or whatever they believe in, but recommends people find grounding and support in any form that is positive and makes them comfortable.
Schmidt shares his own story and talks about the strategies that helped him beat cancer on www.yourcancergameplan.com.
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