Tim Hill is living his dream as a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. The sidearm-throwing lefty figures to be an important part of the team’s bullpen this year. But just a few years ago, Hill’s dream was a nightmare, when, at 25 years old, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. There was evidence the cancer was in his lymph nodes as well. Hill faced a long road of treatment ahead. Hill also now knows he has Lynch syndrome, an inherited disorder that increases the risk of many types of cancer, particularly cancers of the colon. Lynch syndrome is passed on genetically, and doctors have told Hill that his father, who died from colon cancer, passed the gene onto him, though no one tested his father for the condition at the time.
Hill had surgery to remove half his colon, followed by eight months of radiation and chemotherapy, but it paid off. He beat the disease, and was able to resume his baseball career. He still gets a colonoscopy every year just to be safe.
A lot of people have never heard of Lynch syndrome, but Saturday, March 23 is Lynch syndrome awareness day at The University of Kansas Health System. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the public is invited to learn from doctors, patients, including Tim Hill, and families all there is to know about Lynch syndrome. That includes topics like genetic testing, what’s new in research and screening and the risks for gynecological cancer. The famous Inflatable Colon (the stolen colon) will also be there for people to walk though and learn.
In the video, Dr. Dineo Khabele, director of gynecologic oncology at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, describes Lynch syndrome and the different screenings available. She also explains the different treatments available for ovarian cancers linked to Lynch syndrome.
The video also shows Tim Hill’s pre-recorded story, which will be shown to the gathering. In it, Hill talks about the shock he felt at learning he had colon cancer at such a young age, and how he dealt with the news. He also describes his cancer treatment journey and his joyful return to major league baseball.