Summer 2024

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Hess on cancer diagnosis: 'God is going to use this for His glory'

David Hess, a pitcher within the Tampa Bay Rays organization, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with a cancerous germ cell tumor in his chest.

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“Life has a way of throwing you things you never expected to happen,” wrote Hess, 28. He went on to explain how the tumor was found and express his appreciation for the outpouring of support he and his family have received since the diagnosis.

Hess ended with a message of hope.

“As we get ready to go into this treatment time, we are confident this will all be gone from my body and I’ll be back to doing what I love on a baseball field soon and be healthy while doing it,” he said. “This is just the beginning of a great story God is going to use for His glory.”

Included in his tweet was the famous Bible quotation, Genesis 50:20. In his Twitter bio, he mentions Galatians 2:20, which says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Hess began the 2021 season with the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls, but was traded in July to Miami and appeared in 14 games with the Marlins. He elected free agency rather than an assignment to the minors and finished his season back with Tampa Bay, appearing in one major-league game.

His first seven years as a professional came with the Baltimore Orioles after the organization selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of Tennessee Tech. Toward the end of his time with the Orioles and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, Hess appeared in a Sports Spectrum live interview to talk about his faith in the midst of it all.

“With the uncertainty of everything and life kind of being unexpected and sending you down roads you weren’t expecting to go on, I think [God has] really just been teaching me that He’s in control and that He’s worthy of being trusted,” Hess said in the video. “… I think any time you get to the other side of whatever is going on, especially when you’re able to look back, you can see all those things that God was kind of weaving together to get you to where you’re at.

“Whether it’s something you’re supposed to learn at that time or it’s people you were supposed to meet or things you were supposed to experience, just trusting that through everything going on, the uncertainty and the chaos of everything, that He’s working everything together for our good.”

Hess was speaking in the context of COVID-19, but his words ring true in his life now more than ever. Please join us in praying for him and his family during this difficult time.

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