Shelley Smith Returns To ESPN This Month Following Battle With Breast Cancer

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By Lucy McCalmont

After a six-month absence while being treated for breast cancer, ESPN reporter Shelley Smith will return to work on April 30, Sports Illustrated reported on Monday.

Smith, 56, announced in October that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She proceeded to undergo months of radiation treatment, the final cycle of which reportedly ended last week.

The journalist, who joined ESPN in 1993 before being hired full-time in 1997, lost her hair as a result of the treatment. But Smith said she not only wants to embrace her new look, but have it serve as a reminder of her own strength and help raise cancer awareness.

Earlier in February, Smith shared a powerful photo on Twitter of her getting her head shaved:

Getting clipped by the best!! World famous Chuck Taylor. Yesterday Shaw, today me

— Shelley Smith (@ShelleyESPN) February 19, 2015

Smith shared another photo earlier this month, noting both her “chemo hair” and excitement for the Masters Tournament:

In the chemo chair and all i can think about is the Masters coming on ESPN in two hours! #forbryanandstu

— Shelley Smith (@ShelleyESPN) April 9, 2015

As for her recovery, Smith said she is “basically cancer-free,” but will undergo five more rounds of radiation, beginning in May, to get rid of any possible microscopic fibers that may remain. ESPN senior writer Andy Katz tweeted his support for Smith on Monday:

Thinking of you today @ShelleyESPN

— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) April 20, 2015

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