CHICAGO — White Sox star closer Liam Hendriks has finished chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“These past five months have been both the quickest and slowest of my life,” Hendriks wrote on the post. “Being able to ring this victory bell has been one of the most emotional things I’ve ever done. I cannot thank my team of doctors and nurses enough for coming up with the best medical plan for me. No words can express the gratitude I have for them saving my life.”
Hendriks stepped away from the team after announcing his diagnosis in January. He has been vocal in the months since about his journey with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which attacks white blood cells. The cancer has a survival rate of more than 70 percent for the first five years after diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society.
In the post this week, Hendriks wrote he had been undergoing rounds of chemotherapy every 28 days, waiting on scans to come back clear. He thanked his wife, Kristi, who “held my hand every step of the way.”
Chicago’s favorite Aussie also paid respects to Sox fans.
“You kept me in the right frame of mind to beat this,” Hendriks said. “Your encouragement made a bigger difference than you will ever know.”
At the Sox’s home opener Monday, the team played a video of Hendriks in his “Close Out Cancer” shirt. The crowd applauded.
“Happy Opening Day, Sox fans. … I’ll see you guys on the South Side soon,” Hendriks said in the video.
Other baseball players have made major league comebacks after recovering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including former Cubs all-star pitcher and 2016 World Series champion Jon Lester.
Hendriks has been a two-time All-Star and an active community member since joining the Sox in 2021. He’s been a finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award, given to baseball’s most philanthropic player.
Hendriks started the South Slydah Society, which has donated 1,400 meals from small and minority-owned businesses and has hosted dozens of community events across the city, according to the White Sox.
The closer has held watch parties at local children’s hospitals and donated a wheelchair to a Chicago woman living with ALS.
Hendriks routinely buys ballgame tickets for military members, families of people at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Hospital and emergency call center workers, according to the team.
The player has also been an active supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, booking a ballpark suite for teens at Howard Brown Health and buying rainbow flags for fans.
Hendriks has been outspoken in the wake of tragedies, making donations to Highland Park first responders after the July 4 mass shooting and bringing young people who fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine to games at Sox Park.
Hendriks’ love of animals has led him to support local animal welfare groups and make efforts to get dogs adopted.
Hendriks previously promised fans he’d pitch again.
“I know with the support of my wife, my family, my teammates and the Chicago White Sox organization, along with the treatment and care from my doctors, I will get through this,” he said.
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