Sunday, March 24, 2013

Reds third base coach Mark Berry diagnosed with cancer

On Sunday, Reds third base coach Mark Berry delivered some tough news to the clubhouse. The 50-year-old told the team that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

“I have cancer,” Berry told reporters after the team meeting. “I know it sounds bad, the word cancer, but there are plenty of people in this clubhouse that have had it and I know people around the game who have beaten it. My sister had it and beat it. That part hasn’t bothered me.”

The cancer, which was diagnosed last Wednesday in Cincinnati when he had part of his tonsil removed, is located on his tonsil and two lymph nodes. Luckily, the cancer is contained in the left side of his neck, and has not spread anywhere else. Furthermore, team medical director Timothy Kremchek said the condition was detected relatively early and the outlook for Berry is positive.

Berry will spend the next week with the Reds in Goodyear, Ari. before returning home to the Queen City on Saturday. Once he returns, he will go through more tests to determine the next appropriate action. His role with the team from this point on is undetermined, but he said he hopes to stay with the team.

Berry has the option to have surgery or undergo radiation. If he chooses radiation, it would consist of a seven-week treatment for five days a week. In this case, he would be with the team at home, but would not travel for road games.

“We’re still waiting on one more test to determine exactly what the cancer is, we have a pretty good feeling about what it is,” Berry said. “Just to put it out there, exactly what it is, we don’t know yet.”

The 2013 season marks Berry's 30th year as a member of the franchise. He began his stint in 1984 as a player after being drafted by the Reds in the 6th round of the draft. He has served on the Reds coaching staff for the last 15 years, the last 10 of which have come as the third base coach.

Despite the news, Berry remains optimistic about his prognosis.

“I don’t want to down play it, but I’m not concerned,” Berry said. “I’m going to beat it like lots of people in the game I know (have). They did their treatment and moved on. There’s people in the clubhouse right now that went through it. I don’t see any difference.”

Via Cincinnati Enquirer

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