Dempster's struggles

Ryan Dempster won’t make excuses, but he’s had to deal with some personal issues this year as well as trying to get his job done on the field for the Cubs. Dempster’s daughter, Riley, was born prematurely in March. She has a rare form of DiGeorge Syndrome, which, in this instance, means a missing part of a chromosome is creating a condition that disrupts her natural swallowing reflex. It’s difficult for her to keep food down.

Dempster has confided in those close to the team about his daughter’s situation, including the Cubs beat writers, but the story was made public on Sunday in the Chicago Sun-Times. The 2-month-old is hospitalized, with a tracheotomy tube in her throat.

“I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy,” Dempster told the Sun-Times. “I wouldn’t wish the person I hate most in the world to go through that because I wouldn’t wish any little kid to have to go through that.”

He has returned to Chicago as much as possible to be with her, and even gave blood for an operation she needed. He went public to help raise awareness for the condition that often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in infants for lack of a genetic test.

“There’s anger,” Dempster said. “When your daughter’s sitting there in the hospital, and she’s been in there for two months now, there’s an anger inside you because no little kid deserves that. Hopefully, by the end of this month, she’ll be home.

“But it’s like, how do you not let it out? I think that’s why I was having those big innings [during an early stretch of starts], because I’d be cruising along, cruising along, and then all of a sudden I get in a situation where I get frustrated, and then I’d start thinking and getting mad at the wrong things, or getting mad at an umpire not calling a strike.”

— Carrie Muskat



Thanks for letting us know. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan and his family. What is his daughter’s name?

That is heartbreaking to hear about. Do they know if there is any treatment that will heal her? Is there any place to find updates on her condition or let the Dempster family know our support for them?

Good luck to Ryan and his wife. Family is the most important thing in the world.

Puts everything in perspective. Who cares if the Cubs ever get to the Series again, I’d trade it all for Ryan’s daughter’s
recovery and well being as well as Derek’s daughter and so on. So many things just don’t SEEM right…

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