Fellow cancer survivor Jon Lester reached out to Chad Bettis after his return to the mound
On Monday night, Rockies starter Chad Bettis completed his long road back from testicular cancer, throwing seven shutout innings as the Rockies topped the Braves, 3-0. Everyone was inspired, from the fans in attendance to even the Braves themselves. But the righty's story also moved someone far away from Coors Field: Jon Lester, a cancer survivor himself, who tweeted Bettis on Tuesday afternoon to congratulate him:
As a rookie in 2006, Lester was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer. He missed the remainder of the '06 season, but a little more than a year later, he was on the mound for Game 4 of the World Series, pitching into the sixth inning as the Red Sox finished off a sweep of the Rockies.
Bettis clearly appreciated the support:
Thank you @JLester34 I really appreciate the support! I'm sure I'll see you down the road. Much love bro 👊- Chad Bettis (@cbettis35) August 15, 2017
Here's to many more starts from both of them in the future. There were also many other words of encouragement from celebrities, teams and ballplayers past and present. Check 'em out below:
BIG Shout out to Chad Bettis ..tremendous accomplishment. Wish you well in continuing your journey back...heartwarming story.Go Chad!- Jim Kaat (@KaatJim) August 15, 2017
Even in a groove 7 scoreless is tough to do. Doing it as soon as you come back from chemo? Biggest hat tip possible to @cbettis35- Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) August 15, 2017
Pumped for @cbettis35. Idk him personally but cool to see him back on the hill tonight. Good luck- andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) August 14, 2017
Ian Desmond (@IDesmond20) August 14, 2017
Collin McHugh (@Collin_McHugh) August 14, 2017
Bettis spoke with MLB.com's Thomas Harding about the support he's received. "There are a lot of guys that have gone through things that were much worse than what I had to," he told Harding. "For some of those guys to reach out, that meant a lot to me."
He was particularly touched by support he received from players around the league. "For opposing teams' players to support me the way they did," he said, "it shows a lot about how tight-knit our fraternity really is."
Here's hoping Bettis has a long and healthy career.