Friday, September 18, 2009

Letter to Rod Carew


Dear Mr. Carew,

As you read this letter, my husband, Chris Cashen, is lying in a hospital bed. He has been there since Aug 30,2009. On that day he had a spontaneous brain bleed and he was expected to die a brain death within the day. He has a good healthy body. He is a marathon runner and competed in the Boston Marathon this spring. He had left instructions to donate his body after death.

He didn’t die as expected. The doctors repeated a CT scan the next day and realized that he was one of very few ‘lucky’ people where the bleeding leaked into a ventricle in his brain. That prevented the brain tissue from being crushed against his skull. Surgery was done and he is fighting to make a recovery.

Chris is a stubborn man at times … Thank God. Perhaps he didn’t give up because his beloved Angels are doing so well this year. Maybe it’s because Chris is such a very involved father; he realizes he still has a lot of parenting left to do, or perhaps; unknown to us, there is still more good things he needs to do on this earth … that remains to be seen.

Chris has been a passionate fan of yours for many years. It started when he was a kid, in the 1970’s. You caught his imagination in your rookie year. He has followed you and your career when it took you from Minnesota to Anaheim and from player to batting coach. He loves your approach to playing ball, your work ethic and the intelligent way you perfected your skills.

The number 29 is special to him. We were married on the 29th of Aug 1987 (thankfully the 29th landed on a Saturday that year or else I would have had to wait for 14 more months for a wedding date!). He wears a golden 29 on a chain around his neck. Twenty-nine is featured in many parts of his life, including on his hospital bracelet right now.

He was especially touched when Michelle was very ill. He asked every Black Canadian he knew to register with a tissue registry. As a father, he felt your pain and the need you had to do anything to help your child. He felt your sorrow too.

I know, you probably still have many people who love and respect you and your approach to life, and this letter is probably one of many that you get every day. But if you were able to reply – even a few well-chosen short words – it would be a great boost to Chris.

It’s been 19 days since his brush with death, and we have a very long road to go. I took the liberty of calling his recovery “Chris’ Addiction to Life Marathon” (note: there are 29 characters if you count the apostrophe on Chris – Chris would appreciate this).

When this ordeal started, I thought that if I documented what has happened to him – the power of the story will help motivate him to keep working at getting better. Recovery from brain injury takes a lot of strength and determination. I know he has these qualities and will tap into them (I expect most marathon runners do) but there will be days when his frustration will get to him. That’s when he needs us.

I have posted his story on a blog site.
It is at:
Please feel free to check it out.

Thank You for your time and even if you don’t respond to this, know that you planted a seed in his heart and head that has made him strong as a person. When he overcomes his brain injury, some of the credit can go to you and your influence as a role model in his early years. Thank You


Gwen Mowbray-Cashen

NOTE TO READERS: Unfortunately this letter was returned - the mail box is full
If anyone has any ideas to get this to Mr Carew - I'd love to hear about it - email be at:


  1. Gwen,

    Did you try a physical address or an email address? The email address on his website is, but there is also a guest book you could post on to request mailing information.

    His mailing address is listed on oen website as: 5144 East Crescent Dr, Anaheim, CA 92807. Maybe try that?


  2. You may want to call the Angles Community Relations office at 714-940-2070 for assistance. Good luck!