Kervin Fighting His Way Back

For 26-year old second baseman Bryan Kervin, playing baseball for the Vancouver Canadians this summer carries significantly more meaning than any other season in his baseball career. Having spent the majority of the 2009 season with AA New Hampshire, he missed the entire 2010 season battling through Ulcerative Colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease that affects a person's intestines.

Kervin lost close to sixty pounds over the eighty days he spent in the hospital but he's worked himself back to his regular playing weight of 185 pounds and he is ecstatic to be back on the diamond.

"I'm excited any time a season starts, we're all geared up ready to go, but the main thing is to keep that consistent – not too high, not too low – throughout the season," Kervin said.

Kervin, a prototypical undersized middle infielder, was the opening night second baseman for the Canadians. He figures to see the majority of his playing time at second base but he has also played at shortstop and at third base during his time in the Blue Jays system.

It was during the time away from the game, when he was isolated in a small hospital room, that Kervin realized the importance of his own personal health and the effect it had on his physically demanding profession.

"You know this game you got to stay healthy and before that I was always trying to stay out of the training room. Obviously I had something happen to me that I couldn't really control but you got to concentrate on the things you can control and that's working hard, staying close to your family, having faith and it'll take you through those tough times."

On the field he admits that he is working tirelessly on every facet of his game.

"It's a constant, working on my defense there's always room to improve and obviously even the best hitters in the game need to work on their hitting. It's a constant, working on your hands and taking part in different defensive drills."

Kervin understands the importance of a good work ethic better than anyone on the team, and as the oldest player on the Canadians roster, he's a natural role model for his younger and less experienced teammates.

"I just try to work as hard as I can," he said. "I'm more of a guy that doesn't say much but can kind of lead by example and work hard, and hopefully push the other teammates around me and everybody around me, not only to be better players but to be better people on and off the field."

Battling through such an overly emotional period of time has given Kervin a new perspective on life on and off of the field.

"Obviously you have your individual goals and after going through everything I went through you concentrate on living one day at a time and getting the most out of that day. You're not always promised tomorrow but the stuff you do today will enable you to have a better tomorrow and you can't look back at the past.

"My focus is just controlling what I can control daily, and working hard today, doing what it takes to make myself better, make my teammates better, make the organization better."

Kervin's goal off of the field is to raise awareness for the disease that afflicted him, through his foundation Rise and Conquer (riseandconquer.org).

"Really I started the foundation because the president of my foundation Jeremy Hughes came to me and wanted to help with my medical costs by putting on a golf tournament," he said. "The support from the community has always been there for me and I just want to do that for other people, whether it's helping someone with their medical bills, or helping someone who doesn't have the money for a laptop because you know, 40 to 80 days in the hospital is a long time and it can get boring at times.

"We're just trying to do everything we can do to raise awareness for the disease and help find a cure for it because there is no cure for it right now, just like cancer."


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nKervin lost close to sixty pounds over the eighty days he spent in the hospital but he's worked himself back to his regular playing weight of 185 pounds and he is ecstatic to be back on the diamond.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm excited any time a season starts, we're all geared up ready to go, but the main thing is to keep that consistent – not too high, not too low – throughout the season,\" Kervin said.
\r\n
\r\nKervin, a prototypical undersized middle infielder, was the opening night second baseman for the Canadians. He figures to see the majority of his playing time at second base but he has also played at shortstop and at third base during his time in the Blue Jays system.
\r\n
\r\nIt was during the time away from the game, when he was isolated in a small hospital room, that Kervin realized the importance of his own personal health and the effect it had on his physically demanding profession.
\r\n
\r\n\"You know this game you got to stay healthy and before that I was always trying to stay out of the training room. Obviously I had something happen to me that I couldn't really control but you got to concentrate on the things you can control and that's working hard, staying close to your family, having faith and it'll take you through those tough times.\"
\r\n
\r\nOn the field he admits that he is working tirelessly on every facet of his game.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's a constant, working on my defense there's always room to improve and obviously even the best hitters in the game need to work on their hitting. It's a constant, working on your hands and taking part in different defensive drills.\"
\r\n
\r\nKervin understands the importance of a good work ethic better than anyone on the team, and as the oldest player on the Canadians roster, he's a natural role model for his younger and less experienced teammates.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just try to work as hard as I can,\" he said. \"I'm more of a guy that doesn't say much but can kind of lead by example and work hard, and hopefully push the other teammates around me and everybody around me, not only to be better players but to be better people on and off the field.\"
\r\n
\r\nBattling through such an overly emotional period of time has given Kervin a new perspective on life on and off of the field.
\r\n
\r\n\"Obviously you have your individual goals and after going through everything I went through you concentrate on living one day at a time and getting the most out of that day. You're not always promised tomorrow but the stuff you do today will enable you to have a better tomorrow and you can't look back at the past.
\r\n
\r\n\"My focus is just controlling what I can control daily, and working hard today, doing what it takes to make myself better, make my teammates better, make the organization better.\"
\r\n
\r\nKervin's goal off of the field is to raise awareness for the disease that afflicted him, through his foundation Rise and Conquer (riseandconquer.org).
\r\n
\r\n\"Really I started the foundation because the president of my foundation Jeremy Hughes came to me and wanted to help with my medical costs by putting on a golf tournament,\" he said. \"The support from the community has always been there for me and I just want to do that for other people, whether it's helping someone with their medical bills, or helping someone who doesn't have the money for a laptop because you know, 40 to 80 days in the hospital is a long time and it can get boring at times.
\r\n
\r\n\"We're just trying to do everything we can do to raise awareness for the disease and help find a cure for it because there is no cure for it right now, just like cancer.\"
\r\n
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