St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes revealed Wednesday that his 1-year-old daughter is battling cancer.
Reyes, who is already missing the entire season with a torn tendon in his right shoulder, spoke about his daughter Aleyka’s battle with the disease for the first time publicly, according to MLB.com.
Reyes, 23, said his daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 when she was just five months old.
“I’m fighting for my career and I love to play baseball, but life is way more important. That was definitely a lot tougher situation in my life. To know how strong she is now, and how strong she was through that process, those are things that drive me,” he said, according to STL Sports Page.
Reyes said Aleyka is doing a lot better since it was revealed she had cancer. He said doctors discovered a tumor near her heart, but after months of battling she will not need any more chemotherapy.
“I don’t really want to get much into the details with that,” he said. “I don’t really feel the need to talk about it. It’s out there, I said it, ‘I just don’t want to continually talk about it.’”
The right-handed pitcher returned to the mound this season after recovering from Tommy John surgery. Reyes was recovering from the surgery during the same time his daughter battled the illness, according to STL Sports Page. Reyes pitched in only one game in 2018 and left early with the torn tendon.
“It was tough,” he said. “Those are things I’ve learned to deal with. I’ve been handed a tough deck of cards. It’s been all right though. I’m sure I’ll survive.”
Reyes is still a young, upstart pitcher and widely considered one of the best prospects in baseball. MLB.com ranked him as the No. 15 best prospect in baseball before the season started.