The incredible inspiring story of SDSU’s Chad Bible

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Hear what it was like for Chad Bible after he found out from doctors that he had cancer during his time at San Diego State.

NARRATOR: On January 10, 2017 Chad Bible-- now a redshirt junior at San Diego State-- was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Though a rare blood disease that has been deemed curable, the word cancer-- as you can imagine-- strikes fear in any 21-year-old.

- My world just stopped honestly, when the doctor came in and told me the news. I knew something was wrong for a while. I had lumps in here that I got checked previously. The doctor initially told me nothing was wrong, so I kind of just let it go. And then halfway through the fall of that year I developed a lump under my jaw that ended up being biopsied and ended up being a tumor.

And then everything just came to a head when she said the word cancer. And I kind of blacked out. I couldn't hear what she was saying. I was just in total shock. All I could think about was having to forego the season, and not really knowing if I was ever going to play again.

NARRATOR: Before transferring to San Diego State, Chad was well traveled with one goal in mind-- playing Division 1 baseball. One year of JC ball at College of the Canyons, where he led the state in home runs in RBIs, helped him gain the attention he needed.

- I had a long road to get to San Diego State. I registered at Fullerton, which was a dream school at the time. And my main goal was just to play Division 1 baseball. I know I could. I know I can. But I really wanted just to get there and play the season.

- Well, he's kind of the same player we recruited. He's a power type guy. He's a really good athlete. We brought him in to be an offensive force in our lineup and drive in runs.

- I had earned a spot in the outfield, had a good fall. I was one of the guys just really pumped for season. So this is a major blow to the gut, honestly, to not be able to play with those group of guys. And thank God I'm here now playing. But yeah, it was really disappointing.

- Well, when you first find out something's wrong you don't think the worst. Right? Really up until early January we really didn't know what was going on, until he got some more dynamic tests put on him in the medical part.

NARRATOR: The tests revealed the worst, and Chad's dreams of playing Division 1 baseball were put on hold. He had to inform Coach Martinez of the news.

- I remember it was the night of-- so I found out in the morning. Then I went home and I was going out to eat, 'cause I just had get my mind off it. And I called Coach, told I had cancer. And yeah, it was pretty emotional. He was just there for me from the beginning. He became more of a father figure than a coach at that point. And baseball took a back seat.

- It's right after New Year's and maybe he's just calling to say Happy New Year. So the expectation was not bad news. And then when he told me that, I really didn't know how to process it and react to it. I'd been through some really painful things in our program with Coach Gwinn, and a lot of those came back. They flooded back. And you're like, OK. I just heard that. Can you repeat it?

- He just wanted to make sure that I was OK, that if there's anything he can do to help, that he'd be there for me. And I feel like I'm hurting the team by not being able to play because of what I had to go through.

MARK MARTINEZ: You can lean on me as hard as you want, and I'm a male, so I want to fix things. And the only thing I can think is I don't know how to fix it. And I told Chad that. I don't know how to-- other than hey man, I love you. We're here to support you, whatever you need. Obviously a lot of tears, emotions--

- I got choked up a little bit, but it was not nearly as emotional as when I told all my teammates the next day. It was in the morning and I was meeting with my parents. They came down from Valencia, where I'm from. My mom and dad were crying when they saw me. Coach brought all the guys in. They didn't really know what was going on. I started out with a joke. And everyone kind of loosened up the room. And then I told the news, I had cancer, and just saw everyone's heads going down. I was just crying at that point.

MARK MARTINEZ: I said, listen. No matter what, you're part of our program. You're part of our team. You're going to play as long as you can play. Because you know what? He earned it, number one. He was a starting guy. And I think his fear was OK, we're just going to shove that aside and we're going to let you go on your own. And I said no. We're going to do this together and we're not going to eliminate your passion, which is baseball

NARRATOR: Before starting chemotherapy, Chad had just one wish. He wanted to play in one game against an old foe.

- It was a Fullerton game, and that was the fifth game of the season. And I just really wanted to not have all my hard work and perseverance and just-- I'd been through a lot up to that point. I didn't want to go to waste.

- It was funny when he did have that kind of wry smile. He was like hey, am I getting an opportunity to play against Fullerton? I said absolutely. That's our target date. We're going to get you to that date, and then whatever happens after that is gravy.

CHAD BIBLE: I went 2 for 4 that game with two singles. I remember I struck out the last at bat swinging as hard as I could trying to hit a home run.

- Of course, he circled it on his calendar. He wanted to give them something back a little bit.

NARRATOR: On February 23rd, just one day after going 2 for 4 against his former teammates, Chad's battle would begin.

- The next day I started chemotherapy, yeah.

NARRATOR: During the early stages of his treatments Chad attempted to live the life of a normal student athlete-- commuting to and from treatments between games.

- Initially what I was going to do was I was going to drive up to City of Hope, which is in Duarte, California. I would get treatment, stay a couple of days at home in Valencia when it was really rough, and then back down and try to do as much baseball and school as possible.

MARK MARTINEZ: We communicated so much, not only with him, but his family. His doctors gave him a green light to go ahead and do what he could do. I didn't really have fear. I also thought it was very important to have him here in our dugout whether he was playing or not.

- I played in two games during treatment. Between the first round and the second round I played against USC, and then one week later against Long Beach State. I got another at bat. I was just sitting on the bench, totally just cashed out.

- I turned around and said hey, do you want an at bat? He thought I was kind of joking. I'm like no, you're in.

- I was like, are you serious? He's like, get a bat. Let's go. So I put my cleats on. I didn't have my cleats on.

MARK MARTINEZ: He had to scramble to get all his stuff, and got up to the plate. And sure enough, he dumps a ball in the right field corner, and it was a double. And he probably should have stayed. And that, to be honest with you, is when the fear set in for me-- is when he came around second base when I felt like OK, you're good. Mission accomplished. But he kept going.

- I tried to stretch it into a triple. My legs didn't work that fast. Ended up getting thrown out at third, but it still counted as a base hit. And the whole team just went crazy. Dad called me crying just saying I was his hero and stuff. I was like nah, I'm just playing the game. That's one of the coolest moments in baseball I've ever had.