SAN DIEGO -- When it came time to select what he wanted to be on the back of his uniform for the second annual Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain, D-backs left-hander Jake Diekman didn't need long to decide on "Gut It Out.":: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::While
SAN DIEGO -- When it came time to select what he wanted to be on the back of his uniform for the second annual Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain, D-backs left-hander Jake Diekman didn't need long to decide on "Gut It Out.":: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::
While some players opted for humor on their jersey, Diekman chose a phrase that has kept him going through some very difficult times physically.
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It also happens to be the name of the charity he and his wife, Amanda, started last year.
According to its website, the mission of the Gut It Out Foundation is "to connect patients and caregivers through education and inspiration in order to strengthen relationships and resources within the IBD [Irritable Bowl Disease] community."
The cause is a personal one for Diekman, who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 10.
In 2017, Diekman underwent what is known as "J-Pouch" surgery at the Mayo Clinic, and his mantra during his recovery was simply, "Gut it out."
"We started the Gut it Out Foundation last year," Diekman said. "I had my colon removed in January. I had a colostomy bag for like five, six months. I had that taken off in June. Rehabbed, pitched the whole month of September.
"We just started the foundation to raise awareness and start a community and give out grant money to hospitals in research efforts that we feel like needed the money and are on the right track to finding the cure."
Diekman estimated he lost 40 pounds after the surgery, and though it was tough, he only doubted his return to pitching for a short moment.
"For like one day," he said. "Right after the surgery, and that was it."
Diekman was acquired by the D-backs from the Rangers prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline in exchange for Minor Leaguer Wei-Chieh Huang and a player to be named later.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.