The St. Louis Dispatch is reporting that the former Cardinals outfielder — who was traded to the Red Sox in 2009 and later released — is suffering from glioblastoma, a malignant tumor in his brain.
Duncan first noticed a problem when he started experiencing sporadic seizures, including one that caused him to black out during a radio appearance. He received his official diagnosis about eight weeks ago.
But Duncan is trying to lean on the same competitive approach that fueled him to the big leagues to conquer this situation.
“I’m staying optimistic about it,” Duncan said. “I’ve competed my whole life. I worked for what I got in the game. To me, this is another competition. I’m not letting this beat me. I’m going to do whatever gives me the best chance.”
During the first week of October, Duncan underwent a six-and-a-half hour surgery that included partial removal of his skull. After being placed in a coma for a few days, the outfielder needed a week before he could utter his name again.
At this point in his battle, Duncan still needs two-plus weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. The former outfielder also administers daily shots to his stomach because a blood clot formed in his left arm.
His father, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, is trying to stay strong along the way.
“During the course of your life there are things that happen that are really good and positive,” Dave said. “You appreciate those things and don’t get carried away with them. It’s the same when something bad happens. It’s there. It exists. You deal with it in the most productive way you can. You don’t have a pity party. You deal with the issues that confront you and make intelligent decisions that hopefully work out.”
Photo via Flickr/Barbara Moore