A&M baseball player beats cancer, inspires others

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Jonathan Ducoff is a seasoned veteran on the Texas A&M baseball team.

"I think I'm embracing the role of being the older guy on the team, you know, fifth year senior coming in. It's been awesome to just be around a lot of the younger guys," said Ducoff, an outfielder for the Aggies.

Ducoff's journey to A&M wasn't a traditional one. He spent two years at Baylor and two more at Houston Baptist before walking on for the Aggies.

"It was a school decision, so I knew that this was the spot to go and ended up walking on and making the team," said Ducoff.

Ducoff has been in and out of the lineup this season, but makes the most of his opportunities. He had a walk off over Vanderbilt early on in the season, and most recently lifted A&M past Florida in the SEC Tournament.

"Every time I get to step on the field, whether I'm in the dugout, playing, it doesn't matter, I'm enjoying it every last moment," said Ducoff.

These moments mean so much more to him after a cancer diagnosis in January 2018. After going in for surgery for a hernia, doctors found some abnormalities. Ducoff was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma.

"I was really scared and just kind of upset for a couple of days, didn't really know how to react," said Ducoff.

He was put on a treatment plan of chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

"In essence, it's kind of teaching your own body to combat the cancer," said Ducoff.

Despite his diagnosis, he was certain he'd play baseball that season.

"I think I realized being able to have something to get my mind off of things, go play and just enjoy the game, was one of the best things I could have had," said Ducoff.

Ducoff found out he was in remission in April of 2018. More than a year later, he's inspiring his Aggie teammates.

"Jonathan has been a true blessing to our program, and you know, he means everything," said Rob Childress, the head coach of the A&M baseball team.

Although Ducoff is in remission, he still does immunotherapy treatments every few months.