Carter family shown 'a ton of love'
February 6, 2012
By Joshua Reid / Sport Editor
After spending the past seven months battling brain cancer, Palm Beach Atlantic baseball coach and Major League Baseball hall of famer Gary Carter has "several new spots/tumors" on his brain, according to doctors from Duke University.
"My dad went to the urologist on Friday (two days after his last NCCAA regional baseball game) for just a regular appointment," softball head coach and daughter Kimmy Bloemers said.
"He had been a little confused and tired for a few days but nothing of big concern. The urologist (after talking with dad at his appointment) suggested that dad get an MRI."
"After having a MRI, it showed four small tumors in the back of his brain," Kimmy said. "After a lot of waiting (of the results that were sent to Duke) the tumors grew double in size."
Carter later had a surgical biopsy and found out that he had Gliobastoma multiforme, or GBM, which is the most common and most aggressive malignant brain tumor.
"Because the tumors are very large and all connected, it's inoperable," Kimmy said. "We were all devastated and cried."
Bloemers also said that the doctors from Duke "took him off chemo and avastin on Friday (Jan. 13) and are now just giving him what he needs to feel comfortable moving forward."
"As far as our emotions and reactions, we are putting our trust in the Lord and listening to Jeremiah 29:11," Kimmy said. "We are spending every day together as a family."
"It's been a roller coaster of emotions. We were initially in disbelief," said Kyle Bloemers, assistant athletic director for compliance and marketing.
"Initially, we had no idea what was going on," senior baseball player Logan Thomas said. "We were all pretty surprised and our thoughts and prayers are with Coach and his family."
"We are definitely motivated to play for him and we all hope he pulls through."
"We've been drawing strength from the Lord," Kyle said. "Whatever He decides is all part of His perfect plan. PBA has show us a ton of love and support, and we can't be thankful enough."
Carter, a former catcher who was part of the 1986 New York Mets championship team and was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, was a big reason many PBA players, including senior Travis Murray, ultimately chose the school.
"With me being a catcher, he has taught me a lot about baseball, catching, and life, and I'm very grateful for that," Murray said, who transferred to PBA his junior year. "Any time I wanted extra helps or pointers on how to improve as a catcher, he would not hesitate."
""I think he definitely brings more players into PBA for all those reasons."
"Coach Carter has definitely had an impact on the baseball program here at PBA," Thomas said. "I think it is a large incentive to have one of baseball's best as head coach at any university, really. It's definitely a major factor in deciding what school you will attend."
"The baseball players really bring him joy," Kyle said. "He doesn't talk as much but each time he went to practice, he found that voice again. He motivated the players and that drives him to fight this battle."
"Not being out there with the guys has been the hardest thing for him," Kyle said.
Carter has also been motivated by many little things as well, according to Kyle.
"Sunday (Jan. 29) Kimmy went for a walk in a park," Kyle said. "She saw a little girl (about 8 or 9 years old) in a catchers uniform playing catch with her dad. It was the same exact park and the same exact spot Kimmy played catch when she was 13 with Gary."
"That brought a huge smile to her," Kyle said. "She shared that with him and it also brought a huge smile to him. He still remembers those types of things."
Thomas also talked about what he remembers most from Carter.
"Coach has taught me to have a love for the game and a love for the opportunities it brings," Thomas said. "He would always say that baseball is a game and that it should be fun. Because of Skip, I value every chance I get to play the game I love."
Carter has made an impact outside of PBA as well.
"We get so many posts from people on the guest book on Kimmy's CaringBridge website," Kyle said. "We've received stories from how Gary used to give autographs to kids sitting next to him while he was getting a haircut to how he interacted with fans during major league games."
"It's amazing how he's touched so many people's lives, both in and outside PBA," Kyle said. "We're so blessed to have an amazing family and PBA family that's just been incredible to us throughout the entire process."
Carter received the Baseball Writer's Association of America "You Gotta Have Heart" award on Jan. 21 in New York.
Carter took over the PBA program in 2010 and he led the team to 17 wins. He led the same team to 27 wins last season.