Rays pitcher Hess says he's having chemo for cancerous chest tumour

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Hess works in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Friday, March 26, 2021, in Port Charlotte, Fla. (John Bazemore/AP)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays minor league pitcher David Hess says he is starting chemotherapy to treat a cancerous tumour in his chest.

Hess tweeted Wednesday that he went to an emergency room about a week ago after experiencing chest tightness and shortness of breath.

"After some scans, blood work, and time at the hospital we learned that I had a cancerous germ cell tumour sitting in the center (of) my chest pressing majorly against my heart and lungs,'' he wrote. " Today we got the final diagnosis and treatment plan that has chemo starting up on Monday to shrink and hopefully eradicate the tumour entirely.''

The 28-year-old has pitched in the majors for Baltimore, Miami and Tampa Bay, going 6-22 in parts of four seasons. He finished this year with Triple-A Durham, where he was 6-2 with a 3.57 ERA.

Hess said those around him have showered "love, prayers, and support in ways that have been so amazing I don't think we can even put into words how grateful my family and I are.

"As we get ready to go into this treatment time, we are confident this will all be gone from my body and I'll be back doing what I love on a baseball field soon and be healthy while doing it,'' he added. "This is just the beginning of a great story.''

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