By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Chase Moore’s senior season with the Southern Alamance baseball team is in jeopardy and that sounds disappointing.
A far more serious matter interfered.
Just weeks before the season, which begins in late February, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“I’m just hoping I can get healthy as best I can,” Moore said. “I’m a little more tired than usual.”
After an initial chemotherapy in early February, he could have 11 more chemo treatments at an every-other-week rate extending to July.
In the meantime, Moore wonders about his status with the Patriots. The center fielder attended recent practices as a spectator.
“There is a lot of hope,” Southern coach Jason Smith said.
If Moore is cleared to play, protection for his chest will be necessary and any head-first slides will be off limits.
“The doctors told me it would be based on how I feel,” he said. “If everything goes smooth, I should be able to play.”
Moore, who’s committed to play baseball for Brunswick Community College, is the only child of Kim and Ray Moore of Eli Whitney.
In many ways, it has been a months-long challenge for Moore, who began feeling lethargic.
“I had this cough for a few months,” he said. “It started in September, a dry cough. Then later I noticed my lymph node was swollen.”
He had it checked and received treatment, but his condition didn’t improve. Then while duck hunting at Mayo Lake, he realized he was struggling even more.
By late January, he was at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and chest X-rays revealed the severity of his condition. He underwent surgery.
That was followed days later by his first chemotherapy treatment. A port has been inserted in his chest.
“It’s pretty overwhelming,” Moore said. “Everybody has been super supportive.”
No recent generations in his family have dealt with cancer, he said. Moore, who turns 18 in late February, has switched to online classes.
Moore’s baseball pursuits have been extensive, in part because of involvement with the Burlington-based Dirtbags. His travel ball ventures have taken him to Florida and Georgia.
Now he waits to see what kind of senior season awaits. Already, he has lost weight and strength.
“He’s a strong, tough kid,” Smith said. “He’s in the best shape to fight it.”
Smith knew Moore hadn’t been feeling well, but when he received a text message from a Moore family member at the hospital, the seriousness heightened.
“That’s when it got real,” he said.
Moore received all-conference honors as a sophomore and junior. He was on the verge of cracking the Patriots’ lineup as a freshman in 2020 when the pandemic nixed the season shortly after it began.
He was the lead-off batter the past two seasons, belting a team-leading seven home runs to go with a .372 batting average last year. So Smith planned to peg him in the No. 3 spot this year to make additional use of his power.
“So he can drive in more runs,” Smith said.
Smith is arranging to have “ChaseStrong” bracelets made in purple to highlight Lymphoma awareness. T-shirts are also in the works.
Moore’s parents both took time off from work – his mother an accountant with National Agents Alliance in Burlington and his father in the heating and air division at University of North Carolina – to help with his care.
Angela Byrum, the teenager’s aunt, started a GoFundMe page under “Journey with Chase.” Within a week, donations nearly tripled the initial $3,000 goal.
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