Mother's Day meaningful for Lowe brothers as 'Super Mom' Wendy fights cancer

May 12th, 2024

ST PETERSBURG -- Last June brought what Wendy Lowe called a “momentous weekend” full of “lifelong memories” for her family. She and her husband, David, watched their sons, Rangers first baseman and Rays outfielder , meet on a Major League field for the first time. The big league brothers exchanged lineup cards at home plate, entertained friends and family, and lived out their dream on the same field.

The same year Josh broke out and established himself with Tampa Bay, Nathaniel won a World Series with Texas. David and Wendy were watching every step of the way. At home, they set up two screens, one for each son’s game. If they were out and about, the Rays and Rangers were playing on their phones.

But with that indescribable joy came devastating news and intense uncertainty. Wendy was diagnosed last summer with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. She had surgery early last August followed by chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments to shrink the tumor and keep her condition stable.

“She’s one of the toughest people I know, and I know if there's anyone that can get through this, she's the person that will be able to do that and fight as hard as she can,” Josh said earlier this week. “Because she has a reason to do that. And I think she loves my brother and I so much, and my dad as well and the rest of our family, that that's the reason she keeps fighting every single day.”

Raising two future Major League hitters while David served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, Wendy had a simple job description.

“Her role was Super Mom, really,” Josh said. “She would do it all.”

David and the boys would play catch in the backyard, but Wendy was there to provide comfort -- and, of course, transportation. Nathaniel said Wendy drove the boys “everywhere” when they were kids and “loved” being one of the few moms around for all their activities.

If they went 4-for-4, she was there to cheer them on. If they went 0-for-4, she was there to support them, supporting and loving all the same. That continued as Josh and Nathaniel made their way up through the Rays’ Minor League system, when Nathaniel was traded to the Rangers, and most memorably when she was decked out in split Rangers/Rays gear (with both her sons’ names and numbers everywhere) to see them finally meet in the big leagues.

But it was just before that Rangers-Rays game that Wendy had her first seizure, a symptom of glioblastoma. She chalked it up to nerves surrounding the big, busy series ahead, but got checked out by a doctor at the urging of her family and friends. While waiting for further evaluation, she had another seizure that sent her to the emergency room.

Josh took time away from the Rays to be with his mother as he was placed on the family medical emergency list in mid-July, and Nathaniel joined the rest of his family at home during the All-Star break. As she supported them growing up, they wanted to be there for her.

Even though Josh and Nathaniel were both sidelined by oblique injuries when the Rays and Rangers met at Tropicana Field in early April, the family got together. They had breakfast one morning during the series, and Nathaniel didn’t hesitate to show off his newly acquired World Series championship ring.

“Everybody else in the family has circled around her, and she feels the love from everyone. She feels that same support and comfort from everybody,” Josh said. “It's really an interesting way to bring a close family even closer, but we've seen that, for sure. All of us have pushed in and let her know that, no matter what it is, whether it's just the smallest thing to the biggest thing for her, just to be there for her and that we are there for her every single day.”

Wendy’s boys will show their support in a visible way on Sunday, wearing specially designed New Balance cleats along with the rest of their pink gear as they take the field on Mother’s Day.

“This one's cool. This one's really cool,” Nathaniel said. “It doesn't say enough, but it's a good start. … It’s just a special day to give her some more recognition. Everybody’s mom has done something super special to give them the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues, and I think it's a good time to pay attention to what's important.”


With Wendy’s blessing, Josh revealed her cancer diagnosis just before the Rays and Rangers met in the American League Wild Card Series last October. She hoped that publicly sharing the news would lead to additional prayers and support, which came in droves, but also wanted to draw more attention to brain cancer research.

This Mother’s Day is especially meaningful for the Lowes, and it happens to fall during Brain Tumor Awareness Month, a cause close to their hearts.

An eye-opening aspect of this experience for the Lowe family has been learning how much still isn’t known about brain cancer, how much work there is still left to do to find a cure and how relatively little awareness there is on the subject. While treatment can slow glioblastoma’s growth and reduce symptoms, according to the National Cancer Institute, there is no known cure.

“My family support has been incredible. Between David, our family and friends, I have not spent a single night alone since surgery. There have been so many people offering to help that I can’t thank them all,” Wendy wrote in a statement to Bally Sports Sun for an upcoming all-access feature. “I let the boys take the news public during the Wild Card Series to draw attention to brain cancer and request additional prayers, for which I am extremely grateful.”

Wendy’s love for her family was evident in her response to the diagnosis. Her first question was the obvious one for an active, healthy person presented with such news: “How could this happen to me?” Doctors couldn’t provide a good answer. Her second question: “Can I pass this on to my sons?”

The way she’s handled everything, Josh said, has only solidified everything he already knew about his mom.

“Her character. Her faith as well, that God has a plan for her, no matter what it is,” Josh said. “That he's going to use this to move through her and let his name be known through her as well, that it's all in his hands and he has a plan.”

For the first few months after surgery, Wendy was not allowed to drive or be alone. Josh says her day-to-day life between scans and treatments is “pretty normal” now. She’s remained active, exercising inside as much as she can. She’s held on to her hope and faith, and encourages anyone battling cancer to do the same.

And every day from spring until fall, of course, she and David have baseball games to watch.

“David and I have always enjoyed watching and supporting both Nathaniel and Joshua during their careers,” she wrote. “Our support has never wavered, and it brings us great joy to watch them live out their dreams.”