On Sunday evening, Liam Hendriks announced that he was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He will begin treatment tomorrow and, in his own words, is prepared to get back onto the field as soon as possible.
Hendriks made this announcement via Instagram, where he wrote the following:
“As a professional athlete, I have always been mindful to try and use my position in the public eye to the most positive ends possible by shining a light on causes or issues that touch close to home for myself, my wife and my family. It is in that spirit that I want to share some personal health new I have learned in the past few days, and do so on my own terms.
Recently I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Hearing the word “Cancer” came as a shock to my wife and I, as it does to millions of families each year. However, I am resolved to embrace the fight and overcome this new challenge with the same determination I have used when facing other obstacles in my life.
My treatment begins tomorrow, and I am confident that I will make a full recovery and be back on the mound as soon as possible. I know with the support of my wife, my family, my teammates and the Chicago White Sox organization, along with the treatment and care from my doctors, I will get through this.”
The White Sox and Rick Hahn also released the following statement, which includes that the team will not comment again on Hendriks’ health before Opening Day at the earliest:
“Our thoughts and reactions at this time are for Liam the person, not Liam the baseball player. I know the entire Chicago White Sox organization, our staff, his teammates, and certainly White Sox fans, will rally in support of Liam and Kristi during the coming months. Knowing everyone involved, especially Liam, we are optimistic he will pitch again for the White Sox as soon as viable. In the meantime, we all will do everything in our power to support our teammates and his family as they face this challenge, while also respecting their privacy. We do not expect to have any updates on Liam’s playing status prior to Opening Day at the very earliest.”
The Australian closer has been rock solid for the White Sox over his two years as the team’s closer. More importantly than that, however, Hendriks has been a leader in the clubhouse and in the Chicago community. Hendriks’ South Slydah Society is the most well-known way, however, he and his family have been outspoken supporters of the LGTBQ+ community and have spoken out against gun violence in Chicago. He has also partnered with organizations focused on animal welfare, including Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, One Tail at a Time, Fetching Tails Foundation, Mission K-9, the Petco Foundation, and the Rescue Me Thursday campaign.
Immediately, White Sox fans took to social media to express their support of Hendriks in his battle in the coming months.
We wish Hendriks all the best in his recovery – South Siders everywhere will stand behind him in support.
Featured Image: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports