When Life Throws You a Curveball

This guest blog post by Zach Feuerherd

Zach Bald - School Picture

It’s almost baseball season. That means spring is on the horizon, and the majority of baseball fans have yet to have their hopes dashed. Some of my favorite memories growing up were watching and playing baseball. One particular baseball memory from my childhood still resonates with me today. The lessons I learned from that experience still guide and shape my life today.

That particular baseball season I was probably better suited for the “disabled list.” It was the fall of 1999, and six months earlier I had been diagnosed with cancer; specifically Leukemia just before my thirteenth birthday. I had always been a “Type A” kind of kid – lots of energy, always on the move, and I loved to play sports. That all changed the minute I heard the words…”you have cancer.”

I spent the next two weeks on the third floor of Children’s Hospital in Washington DC. Over the next six months I received a nasty cocktail of chemotherapy drugs. I lost my hair, my coordination, and thanks to the steroid Prednisone I was as chunky as the Pillsbury Doughboy. The poisons and procedures — Vincristine, Methotrexate, spinal taps, although necessary to destroy the cancer sometimes made it hard to walk, much less run. I was determined however to get back on the baseball field.

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