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Rockies, fans show Bettis love in battle vs. cancer

Colorado righty recovering after surgery for testicular disease, which surgeon says has not spread
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- The support of the Rockies' organization and the team's fans did not escape right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis, who revealed this week that he recently underwent surgery for testicular cancer.

Bettis, who has a positive prognosis and information from a surgeon that the cancer has not spread, offered thanks in a rare tweet from his account, @CBettis35, on Tuesday evening:

DENVER -- The support of the Rockies' organization and the team's fans did not escape right-handed pitcher Chad Bettis, who revealed this week that he recently underwent surgery for testicular cancer.

Bettis, who has a positive prognosis and information from a surgeon that the cancer has not spread, offered thanks in a rare tweet from his account, @CBettis35, on Tuesday evening:

Tweet from @cbettis35: My growing family and I would like to say thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words. We will get through this! Better together!���� pic.twitter.com/cXtYATcpJh

Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said Tuesday the club is putting its full support behind Bettis, who revealed the surgery and the hopeful diagnosis in a statement to ESPN.

Bettis quietly underwent surgery on Nov. 29, and released a statement through agent Matt Sosnick to ESPN saying he expects to be ready for Spring Training. Bridich said Bettis, who went 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA in 2016 and has emerged as one of the leaders of a young starting rotation, is approaching the situation with a positive frame of mind.

• Stand Up to Cancer

"We'll take it day by day with him," Bridich said. "He's very positive based on what the doctors are telling him. We're going to continue to be positive, but it'll be really monitored day by day, week by week, and if we have to make an adjustment, we'll make an adjustment. But the focus is on his continuing to get healthy and make sure moving forward the diagnosis and prognosis is exactly that, that it's all positive."

In thanking the Rockies and the MLB Players Association for support, Bettis, who turns 28 on April 26, used his statement to remind men to monitor their health.

"I was completely caught off-guard by my diagnosis, but have subsequently found that the vast majority of cases occur in men 20 to 40 years of age and that the survival rate is 99 percent when contained and caught early," Bettis' statement read. "This only reinforces my belief that each of us needs to be totally in tune with our own physical health, and that taking action sooner than later when we feel like something is off can sometimes literally be the difference between life and death."

Tweet from @hoff_23: @cbettis35 #rolemodel pic.twitter.com/EZbU4WliU6

An important voice, Rockies radio play-by-play broadcaster Jack Corrigan, tweeted his support for Bettis. Corrigan was diagnosed last winter with prostate cancer and has received a clean bill of health. Corrigan ends each broadcast by asking men to "Embrace the Challenge" to take their health seriously.

Tweet from @jackcorrigan2: As someone who has battled cancer, I know @cbettis35 is going to beat it, too. Can't wait to see him pitching again. Thoughts and prayers!

The Rockies, through their Twitter account, @Rockies, also pledged support and reminded fans to be serious about their health.

Tweet from @Rockies: The #Rockies Family is proud of Chad's courage and happy for his recovery. Together we encourage awareness and early detection. pic.twitter.com/4PG8FeySnW

Rockies fans also were effusive in their support for Bettis.

One fan in particular, Jim Downey -- @jpddowney -- understands how big it was for Bettis to have the proper checkup.

Tweet from @jpddowney: @cbettis35 as a stage 4 TC survivor...congrats on catching this early.

Steven Friesen -- @Steven_Friesen -- also is walking in Bettis' shoes.

Tweet from @Steven_Friesen: @cbettis35 Thank you for sharing your story on ESPN. Same diagnosis in 2014 - everything you said resonated strongly. Good luck this year.

The baseball program at Texas Tech, where Bettis pitched before becoming a Rockies second-round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, offered encouragement.

Tweet from @TTU_Baseball: Our thoughts and prayers are with you @cbettis35 - the Red Raider family is behind you. https://t.co/fKofooX6mS

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colorado Rockies, Chad Bettis