Gary Carter has glioblastoma

Updated: June 1, 2011, 11:32 AM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Doctors treating Gary Carter have confirmed that he has glioblastoma, a form of cancer that affects the brain and central nervous system.

Doctors say surgery "is not a good option given the location of the tumor." Instead of surgery, the doctors have discussed an "aggressive" treatment plan, including chemotherapy and radiation. Carter will return home to Florida to begin the next phase of treatment.

"Mr. Carter's youth, strong physical condition and fighting spirit will be to his advantage as his treatment commences," Dr. Allan H. Friedman and Dr. Henry S. Friedman, co-deputy directors of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke said in a statement Tuesday.

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 Friday before announcing that it appeared to be malignant.

In a private online journal, Carter's daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, wrote that doctors described Carter's tumors as "a snake of tumors that are connected across the back of the brain."

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.

During their game Tuesday night at Citi Field, the Mets again played a reel of Carter's career highlights in New York with a message that followed on the big video board: "Our thoughts are with you Gary. From your millions of fans and the New York Mets."

Carter was surrounded by his family while being treated at Duke University.

"We have boundless faith and hope knowing that the Lord will help see us through the challenging weeks and months ahead," the family said in a statement. "... Gary was always a fierce competitor on the baseball field and that same tenacity will help him not only fight but win this battle."

On the private online journal Tuesday night, Bloemers wrote that Carter will "golf, exercise, coach, spend a lot of family time together" in the coming days and weeks ahead.

"And we will all cherish every single moment," she wrote.

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

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