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Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, center, is

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, center, is followed by members of the media as he departs the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation headquarters in Providence, R.I., Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Credit: AP / Steven Senne

ESPN analyst Curt Schilling announced through the network that he has cancer. The statement did not reveal the nature of the cancer or the prognosis. Schilling was to join ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" booth this season in place of Orel Hershiser, but it is not clear when or whether he will be able to fulfill that role.

"I've always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges," Schilling wrote. "We've been presented with another challenge, as I've recently been diagnosed with cancer. Shonda [his wife] and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers.

"My father left me with a saying that I've carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: 'Tough times don't last, tough people do.' Over the years in Boston, the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown us what that means. With my incredibly talented medical team I'm ready to try and win another big game. I've been so very blessed and I feel grateful for what God has allowed my family to have and experience, and I'll embrace this fight just like the rest of them, with resolute faith and head on."

ESPN said, "Our thoughts are with Curt and his family during this challenging time. His ESPN teammates wish him continued strength in his cancer fight and we look forward to welcoming him back to our baseball coverage whenever he's ready."

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