Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is in mourning after learning that a fan had passed away due to cancer. The fan named Shaun had been fighting the disease for some time and had many interactions with Ortiz. The retired MLB player had visited him in the hospital and had also brought him to a Red Sox game, providing him with the opportunity to spend time with players and the mascots.
As he wrote on Instagram, this fan had the heart of a lion and taught Ortiz about fighting through the tough times. There was a moment when the retired MLB star's life was in danger after being shot in the Dominican Republic, but he thought of Shaun, which gave him the strength to fight for survival.
"God bless your soul kid...you always will be remember R.I.P," Ortiz wrote in the caption of his Instagram post.
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Back in April, Ortiz partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital to bring Shaun to Fenway Park for a memorable afternoon of baseball. This was a day in which the players were posing with the four Commissioner's Trophies to represent the four World Series victories. Shaun got to watch and meet his favorite players, and he had his photos taken with the championship trophies.
This afternoon spent with Shaun actually took place months prior to Ortiz being shot and nearly losing his life in the Dominican Republic. It also had a major impact on his mindset during the crucial moments of recovery over the summer.
Since that incident, Ortiz has fully recovered and has been making his return to the spotlight. He was part of the MLB on Fox coverage during the World Series and was also spotted enjoying dinner at a Miami hotspot with some friends. Ortiz is even planning to host the 12th-annual celebrity golf tournament in Miami this November to benefit the David Ortiz Children's Fund, as well as Massachusetts General Hospital.
Ortiz is back in business and looking to provide support for children in both New England and the Dominican Republic that cannot afford the cardiac services they require. However, the retired slugger has made it clear that this would not have been possible without the inspiration provided by Shaun during his own fight.
Photo Credit: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty