As a Hall of Fame baseball player, Mike Schmidt now focuses on a different challenge as he shares his cancer journey with others.
Mike Schmidt considers himself a lucky man. In 2013, he asked his dermatologist to take a quick look at a mole on his hand. A further look at his back discovered a mole indicating melanoma. “I often wonder if I’d still be alive now if I hadn’t had that irritation on my hand,” says Mike. This frightening diagnosis set him on a path that brought him to the Mass General Cancer Center.
Mike underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Soon after, a biopsy showed that the melanoma had spread to his lungs, and he was treated with a new immunotherapy drug. Unfortunately, there was more to come, as the melanoma then spread to his brain. After a new round of treatments and infusions, Mike and his wife Donna received the wonderful news that his scans all looked good.
Mike is very open about his cancer journey, speaking at several fundraising events for the Mass General Cancer Center. He talks about being a lifeguard in the summer, and how all that time in the sun caused damage. He speaks to young baseball players about the importance of sunscreen. What’s more, his celebrity brings awareness to the advances being made in precision medicine and immunotherapies.
“I pray that others going through this same challenge will gain strength from my experience,” says Mike. “I thank God for those who dedicate their lives to making people like me have a chance of survival.”