In 1996 Hall of Fame baseball player Rod Carew lost his 18 year old daughter, Michelle, to leukemia. Since she was diagnosed and even since her passing, Carew has devoted his life to fulfilling his promise to her that he would do whatever he can to help children with blood diseases.
In fulfillment of that promise, he has traveled the country making speaking appearances and helping to raise funding for research at numerous events. Recently, he served as the keynote speaker at the luncheon for the 49th Hutch Award, which honors an MLB player who has demonstrated outstanding community service.
During his speech Carew spoke of how brave and unafraid his daughter seemed while facing the disease and fighting with everything she had, and how helpless he felt as a father when Michelle told him that she knew she would die. However, he also said that he felt there was a greater purpose behind all the suffering, and that maybe that purpose was for him to travel the country and help others.
“I didn’t lose my daughter,” said Carew. “My daughter was put here for a reason…so that every child that’s lived because of what I do when I travel across the country asking people like you to help, they’re one of mine. It’s the greatest feeling anyone can have, and my daughter taught me all about it. Until the day I die, that’s what I’m going to do.”
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Watch Rod Carew with the media at Field of Dreams Game: