Docs think Gary Carter has glioblastoma

Updated: May 31, 2011, 11:09 AM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Doctors informed Gary Carter's family on Saturday night that they were "99 percent sure" that he has a Grade 4 glioblastoma, which affects the brain and central nervous system. It is inoperable.

In a private online journal, Carter's family said Tuesday they will get the official results from doctors on Wednesday afternoon. The family has granted ESPN access to the journal to inform the public.

Despite the difficult diagnosis, the family remains hopeful that Carter can be cured completely, Carter's daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, wrote on the family website.

"This will not be an easy road at all, nor is this a simple battle but WE WILL FIGHT," Bloemers wrote late Saturday night.

Doctors told the Carter family that Carter's tumors are "like a snake of tumors that are connected across the back of the brain," according to Bloemers' post on the family website.

But Bloemers writes that Carter's doctor, Dr. Henry S. Friedman, remains optimistic.

"We are going for it, attacking it and doing all we can to shrink these tumors. (Friedman) explained that we are not fighting to prolong Dad's life, instead, we are fighting to cure him completely," Bloemers writes. "He is encouraged that dad will be able to fight well because he is so young, strong and healthy."

Doctors from Duke University said in a statement released Friday that Carter's tumors appeared to be malignant.

The 57-year-old Carter, who just completed his second season as Palm Beach Atlantic University's baseball coach, announced May 21 that an MRI had revealed four small tumors on his brain. Doctors performed biopsies on a single tumor on Friday before announcing that it appeared to be malignant. Carter had been complaining of headaches and forgetfulness before his diagnosis.

After being diagnosed, Carter said, "My wife, Sandy, and our children and family thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We ask you to please respect our privacy as we learn more about my medical condition."

Carter, an 11-time All-Star, was inducted into Cooperstown in 2003 after retiring in 1992 with the Montreal Expos. He finished his 19-year career with a .262 average, 324 home runs and 1,225 RBIs.

The effervescent Carter, nicknamed "Kid," is perhaps best known for helping the New York Mets win the 1986 World Series. He had 24 homers and 105 RBIs that year, then drove in 11 runs in the postseason.

Carter is surrounded by his family while being treated at the The Preston Robert Tisch Brian Tumor Center at Duke.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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