Chris Ramirez: Inspiring Others by Lending his Voice

Former high school baseball star Chris Ramirez had dreams of playing Major League Baseball. But, after beating brain cancer, he’s lending his voice to inspire others.

As a healthy, vibrant 16-year-old baseball player, Chris Ramirez was excited for the future. A lifelong San Francisco Giants fan, his ambition was to play in the MLB and he was working hard toward that goal. He was seeing some scouts at his games and was hopeful to see his dreams come true.

However, now 32 years old, Chris never could have imagined his life today. He’s proudly sharing his story while holding a positive attitude, aiming to inspire anyone who listens.

While in high school, Chris had some headaches and unexplained symptoms. He wasn’t sure what was going on but was shocked when he had a stroke. It was frightening and unexpected, for him and his whole family. He couldn’t feel the left side of his body. This moment led to tests and scans which revealed a mass in his head. At one point, he was told he likely had two months to live.

Chris quickly went to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. The team saw that there was too much fluid in his brain blocking the pathway where the fluids are supposed to go.  They placed a shunt (via a small hole in his head) to relieve the pressure.

Chris underwent chemotherapy and his entire community, from friends and families to neighbors and baseball teammates, rallied around him. Chris’ mom was a single mother, and the financial impacts from cancer were difficult. But his community, the San Bruno community, organized fundraisers and helped his whole family as much as possible. This allowed him to fully focus on his battle and he’s extremely thankful.

“I told myself that I was going to be fine. Of course, my people around me, my friends and extended family, were always telling me, ‘You’re going to be the first one to beat it. Who cares what they say? We’ll rally around you’”.

He fought hard, and embodied Jim Valvano’s “Don’t Ever Give Up!” spirit. He was determined to beat cancer for his family – his mom and his sister – and for baseball.

“I was just so mad, seeing the face that my mom gave me when the doctors told her that I was diagnosed with cancer and seeing her so sad, mad and defeated. She felt so helpless. I told my mom, ‘I’m going to beat it no matter what they say. I don’t care if it’s one day, two days, I’ll figure it out.’ I thank God my mom listened to me and I’m here today.”

Chris worked hard to return to the diamond with his team – and he did. After many months of treatment with a shunt in his skull, Chris returned to his high school team his senior year and played two games. It was an incredible amount of work to get to that point, but it made the return all the more special.

Today, Chris is quick to lend his voice in the hope of inspiring others. He has meaningful relationships with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants and is thankful for their influence in his journey, specifically Ned Colletti, former GM of the Dodgers, Bertha Fajardo, a Giants employee and was like a second mom to Chris, and Dave Benzer, a fellow cancer survivor that works for the Giants. Chris now looks to invest in the community around him, finding ways to help those in a similar situation to what he faced.

Whether it is advocating for raising money for research to provide new treatment methods to speaking with patients and their families who are currently in the fight, he will do anything to help others avoid going through what he did.

“My thing is, if I can do it, anyone can do it and if I can help in any way, I will do anything possible to get them there. I look at it like we are all family.”

“I believe no family, no kid or anyone should have to go through this. This was an ugly process for me, being in the hospital, going through chemotherapy and not feeling well. So, if I can help and raise some money for research through the V Foundation by sharing my story, I’m all for it.”

Mailing List Mailing List
Close Mailing List