CHICAGO - A Joliet Junior College student athlete never let cancer get in the way of his fastball.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Fleming was diagnosed with leukemia in December after experiencing bone pain and then chronic weakness. While enduring cancer treatment, he lost 20 pounds.
In January, he began the baseball season three weeks late, but his coach allowed him to start in the third game of the season.
"Josh called me worried about when he’s going to be able to pitch again and I told him we’re not worried about baseball right now and we’re really just going to focus on him and his life and getting stronger," said head baseball Coach Gregg Braun.
The freshman ended the season leading all NJCAA DIII pitchers in innings pitched with just over 77. He ranked second in games started and second in strikeouts.
This week, Fleming was recognized by the Chicago White Sox for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and his love of the game.
"I'm doing great. I'm honestly probably in the best shape I've ever been in," said Fleming, who is weeks away from being in full remission from cancer.