Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Detroit Tigers PA announcer Jay Allen using his cancer diagnosis to share faith nationwide

This past March, 59-year-old Jay Allen landed his dream job as the PA announcer for the Detroit Tigers. Just five months into the role, Allen has recently learned he has Stage 4 bile duct cancer.

He believes both of these things are happening for God’s glory.

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“This is the only time you see God really move, is when He has to,” Allen said in a recent interview with the Detroit Free Press. “He’s always moving, but when you got your back against … when you’re in the lions’ den, He shuts the lions’ den. … So I always said to the Lord, ‘If there’s ever a time where I could go through something or do something so that people know who You really are, I’m willing to do that for You.’”

Allen expresses not only a peace but a willingness to travel the path he’s walking — a path he believes will end with his healing. Allen said the news of his cancer has given him multiple opportunities to talk about his faith with his coworkers, and his story, it’s worth noting, has made national news. He’s now telling millions about his faith in Jesus.

“In two months’ time, your life is completely altered, completely changed, and you don’t know what the future is,” Allen said. “I’ve had this calmness about me … [I’m] calm as can be. And I just gotta believe it’s God’s grace, because it makes no sense, you know? But that’s the story I want to get out. You don’t have to live with fear.”

This isn’t to say Allen doesn’t feel the weight of those who love him. He acknowledges that he doesn’t want to die and leave behind a wife and children. He hopes God will give him more time, and professes he believes he’ll be healed.

“I will be here Opening Day 2020,” he says.

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