Chicago White Sox pitcher Liam Hendriks has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The 33-year-old MLB star revealed his diagnosis in an Instagram post on Jan. 8, sharing that he would immediately start his treatment.
“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,” Hendriks, whose been married to Kristi Hendriks since 2013, began. “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.”
Hendriks continued by revealing his Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis, adding, “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,” he wrote.
The athlete noted that his treatment would begin on Jan. 9 and is “confident” that he “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.”
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, “which is part of the body’s germ-fighting immune system,” according to the Mayo Clinic. White blood cells called lymphocytes grow abnormally and can form growths (tumors) throughout the body.
Hendriks received a slew of supportive messages and comments on his Instagram post and social media. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement that their thoughts and reactions go out to “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,” the statement continued, adding that he’s “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,” he continued, noting that they do not expect to have any update on Hendrik’s playing status before opening day at the earliest.
The Australian pitcher is a three-time All-Star player who started his MLB career with the Minnesota Twins in 2011. He would go on to also play with Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics before joining the White Sox in 2021.