, Salem, MA


January 23, 2007

Diagnosis doesn't discourage Leahy


One of his BC coaches, Steve Englert, referred Leahy to Dr. Gregory Grillone at Boston Medical Center, who ordered an MRI that showed the cyst. Englert then referred him to Dr. Lee, an endocrinologist, who spelled it all out after an ultrasound and biopsy tested positive.

"My family's a lot more upset than I am," Leahy said. "Any time you hear the word cancer, everybody gets worried. I have a wonderful family and enough good friends to get me through this. I don't have a single worry that this won't come out well.

"Everybody - family and relatives - shows how much they love you when something like this occurs, but they don't have to do anything extra. I' I've known their love all my life."

His family has no history of cancer, he said.

He's seen several doctors and had each one of them send a medical report to Bruce Hiness, the Angels' the minor league field coordinator.

"I have every support from him. They'll take me be back as soon I can get there," Leahy said.

A thorasic surgeon will be present in OR in the event the cysts have moved to the chest area, Leahy said. "I guess my modeling career is over," he joked.

His attitude is a product of the "amazing coaches" he's had; people who have given him the strength that made him believe he could do anything. It started with Sal Orlando's Tigers in Salem Little League, grew with Pat Yanchus at St. John's Prep and his college coaches.

The only physical setback Leahy had prior to the cancer diagnosis is an appendicitis attack a day before his 2003 baseball season opened at BC. He missed the whole schedule.

Leahy, who continues to work out at The Hit Zone in Swampscott, suffered a finger dislocation his senior year at The Heights and never missed a game.

"I may need a radioactive pill after the surgery; that's all," he said. "I was told I won't need chemotherapy. There are people worse off than me, that's for sure. There's no reason I shouldn't feel optimistic. Maybe I'm making it less serious than it is, and maybe this is just the way I deal with things."

Bill Kipouras is a staff writer at The Salem News. He can be reached at 978-338-2615 or by e-mail:

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