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Dodgers' Stars Send Motivational Message to Cancer Patient

Los Angeles Dodgers players Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez sent a motivational message to Ryan Teixeira, a former college baseball player currently fighting his second separate battle with a rare form of cancer.

They always protect one of their own.

Two veteran players of the Los Angeles Dodgers joined thousands of others to offer their support and encouragement for a former college baseball player who is currently suffering from his second separate battle with a rare form of cancer. 

Ryan Teixeira, a college baseball player from Arroyo Grande, California, is currently in the fight of his life, for the second time.

Three short months after Teixeira received a scholarship to play baseball for Colorado Mesa University, he was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that targets the bones and soft tissue. 

That diagnosis came in 2015, and after doctors removed a 10-pound tumor from Ryan's leg, it appeared that he had won his battle after the Ewing sarcoma went into remission.

However, just months later, Ryan was once again struck with bad news. Teixeira was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a separate form of cancer that originates in the bone marrow and spreads throughout the body via the bloodstream.

The cancer cells overcome the healthy cells, reducing the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Without treatment, the cancer spreads quickly and can be fatal. Treatment ranges from aggressive chemotherapy to stem cell transplants from willing donors.

"There are two things you can do," Teixeira told KSBY Channel 6 in Arroyo Grande after his first diagnosis. "You can say this is going to beat me, you know, this is going to be better than I am, or you know you can go after it full head of steam and bring it on, and that's what I'm choosing to do. 

Ryan has gone through 18 months of rigorous cancer treatments as he tries to beat not one, but two forms of rare cancer. He has received support from family, friends, the community, and now, some of his favorite athletes.

During the end of the 2016 Major League season, Ryan received an upbeat message from Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts along with third baseman Justin Turner and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

At the time, the Dodgers were at Chavez Ravine for their final home stand of the season, and the final broadcast at Dodger Stadium of Vin Scully's prolific career behind the microphone.

The Dodgers needed to defeat the Colorado Rockies on a Sunday afternoon in order to clinch the National League West title for the fourth consecutive season. Before the game, Roberts, Turner and Gonzalez, recorded the message via Facebook, telling Ryan that they were rooting for him, supporting him, and going to go out and win the division for him.

The Dodgers ultimately did go on to win the division, and advance to the National League Championship Series where they lost in six games to the eventual World Series winners, the Chicago Cubs.

Meanwhile, Teixeira has continued to fight and has received more messages from Turner and former football player turned baseball player, Tim Tebow.

Right before the Christmas holiday, and just days after he re-signed with the Dodgers, Turner visited Ryan at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center for an up close and personal visit.

"It's such a mental break," Teixeira told the San Luis Obispo Tribune in December. "It breaks up everything from your day-to-day routine that you get stuck in in the hospital. Because the hospital isn't any place you want to be. It really means a lot to me."

Teixeira says he plans on beating this second form of cancer, and with the help and support of his favorite big league ball players, he hopes to continue his baseball career at Colorado Mesa as soon as he's able. The University has said that they will hold his scholarship for him, until he's healthy and ready to take the field again.

If you or anyone you know is currently battling cancer, or AML, we encourage you to follow Ryan Teixeira's progress on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/17strong

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