12/14/2011  |  
Posted in oral cancer
Did you know that these legendary athletes suffered from oral cancer? Babe Ruth

His name became synonymous with greatness. Michael Jordan is often referred to as the “Babe Ruth of basketball,” and Wayne Gretzky the “Babe Ruth of hockey.” A great player, and a great man who like everyone else, had his faults. He drank, womanized, smoked, and indulged in the good life but his faults were accepted because of his greatness. He went out of his way to help children and was generous with his money. But his bad habits caught up with him and oral cancer cut his remarkable life short, sending a nation into mourning.

Curt Flood

Curt Flood's epic battle against Major League Baseball paved the way for what is the prosperous free agent market that so many baseball players enjoy today. This same market that is taken for granted today cost Flood his major league career by tarnishing his reputation in the eyes of Americans. And though American opinion about Flood reversed over time, his funeral after he succumbed to throat cancer in 1997 drew no attendance from current major leaguers who benefit from the sacrifices Flood made.

Charles Robert (“Bobby”) Hamilton, Sr.

Charles Robert (“Bobby”) Hamilton, Sr. (1957 - 2007) was a NASCAR driver and owner whose down-home demeanor and blue-collar roots endeared him to fans. Equally at home in a car or under its hood, he continued racing until the progression of oral cancer made it impossible.

Brett Butler

Brett Butler has overcome many obstacles in his life. Considered too slow and not talented enough to make it to the big leagues, Butler proved skeptics wrong and had a brilliant career in Major League Baseball. More important, off the field Brett Butler won the battle for his life by overcoming life-threatening oral cancer. He not only successfully returned to the field to finish his career, but also successfully influenced others to quit using tobacco.

Jim Thorpe

A champion famed for his versatility, excellence and drive, Jim Thorpe is considered by many as the greatest athlete of the 20th century. “He was the best natural athlete ever,” the New York Times once wrote of Thorpe. Thorpe, who later in life was an oral cancer survivor, is the only American athlete to excel at the amateur and professional levels in three major sports — track and field, football and baseball.

(The Oral Cancer Foundation)


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