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Brewers medical director beats cancer thanks to team's run last season

Posted at 2:23 PM, Mar 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-29 21:41:12-04

It's the words Roger Caplinger wanted to hear.

"You're cured," Caplinger said exactly 11 months after the getting the diagnosis, of pancreatic cancer.

"December 1st of 2017 we were informed we had a malignant tumor in the head of our pancreas and it was stage one and then we had a lot of choices to make," Caplinger said.

Roger fought, and so too did the Brew Crew all last year.

"Those guys.... there are some similarities," Caplinger said. "Every player we had in 2018 left it on the field every game, every time. And I tried to to that in my own fight. To leave everything I had, to try to fight this disease."

Last Opening Day he was weak, but this year he's back, and better than ever.

"Last year I wasn't well," Caplinger said. "I made it because I wanted to see myself through that portion of the goal-setting process. It's refreshing to be with the Major League team and having me feel really good - almost 100 percent."

With a permanent reminder, on his left wrist.

"Our son Kyle said 'Hey, man, I want to get a tattoo.' I said, 'Really?' I said 'You're 22 years old, I probably wouldn't do that myself but if you want to that's fine.' He said 'We're all getting them.' So we all got 'em. We all got battle ready on our left wrist. So they did it and I lost it. It pulled our whole entire family together," Caplinger said.

Roger also gives credit to Dr. Doug Evans and his We Care Fund, through the Medical College of Wisconsin. He wears purple not because he's part of the 22 percent locally and 9 percent nationally that have been cured. But because of the 78 percent locally and 91 percent nationally, that haven't.

"Dr. Doug Evans is our team leader...he's a hero. Yeah, he's pretty special," Caplinger said. "The whole entire team at the Medical College of Wisconsin are incredibly special to me and my entire family. They never gave up on me and hopefully I never gave up on them."