Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and Pro Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt – two legendary athletes whose determination, faith, and hard work earned them a place in sports history – now have something else in common: overcoming cancer.
Earlier this year, Kelly shared his “game plan” for tackling head and neck cancer to launch Your Cancer Game Plan, an awareness campaign, from Merck, which has a location in North Wales, focused on helping people with cancer and their loved ones cope with their emotional, health, and communication needs.
Now, in partnership with melanoma survivor Schmidt, CancerCare and leading melanoma patient organizations, the initiative is expanding to help those with melanoma map out their own cancer “game plan.”
A melanoma diagnosis – particularly for someone with advanced or late stage disease – can cause feelings of depression, anxiety, or fear. Schmidt, considered the greatest third baseman in baseball history, spent 18 seasons in the Major Leagues racking up impressive stats and accolades, but today believes melanoma is the biggest game-changer of his life.
“Enduring Stage III melanoma not only gave me a greater appreciation for the relationships in my life, but a renewed sense of purpose,” said Schmidt. “One way I can give back is to help others find the support, information, and tools they need to make it through this journey. I was fortunate that my game plan came together with the support of my family and team of doctors, but I know others may need help taking action.”
Click here to hear Schmidt’s journey with melanoma and his tips about remaining positive, open communication, and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.