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Former MLB Pitcher Shares His Story in St. Joseph

Dave Dravecky battled cancer and amputation. Now he's a motivational speaker.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Dave Dravecky's message is one of hope, faith and perseverance.

The former San Francisco Giants pitcher was the guest speaker at a St. Joseph Christian School fundraiser Thursday evening.

"The importance of the gospel and the good news in their life of what Jesus did for them," Dravecky said, sharing what his life has taught him.

Dravecky's story is well documented. His time with the Giants was one of triumph, tragedy, redemption and then despair.

At the peak of his career, Dravecky discovered he had a cancerous tumor in his pitching shoulder.

"Doctors told me I was never going to pitch again," Dravecky said.

However, less than a year later, Dravecky defied the odds and was pitching again.

"And then to come back and pitch ten months later and actually overcome," he said. "Then, only for that to be shortlived. Five days later I throw a pitch and my arm snaps in half."

After the break and cancer recurring, Dravecky's left arm and shoulder were amputated.

"As an amputee, what was I going to do with my life?" Dravecky asked. "My identity was stripped away from me. I was a baseball player."

Dravecky suffered through tough times, but gained strength through his faith and family. Today, he is a motivational speaker, traveling around the country sharing hope.

"I wouldn't trade any of it in," he said. "Everything I've learned as a result of that and what I continue to learn, just being open to the lessons that come out of the tough stuff of life."

They are lessons that are well received by his audiences.

"Dave Dravecky's message is one of endurance and overcoming and it's everything that we're about at St. Joseph Christian School," said Lydia Zuidema, school superintendent.

"Dave just definitely has such a down to earth way about him," said Cyndi Jorgensen, Development Coordinator for St. Joe Christian.

It's speaking engagements like this that are a part of Dravecky's continued therapy.

"You walk away feeling like, wow. I was hoping that I was able to give something and then I just walked away getting a whole lot more out of it than what I gave," he said.

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