Besides all the physical and mental attributes needed to be an excellent defender in the NFL, no matter the position, you have to be a fighter. You have to be stubborn, and you have to be relentless. The same has to be true in order to have a chance to survive cancer. Of course, football is nothing compared to this terrible disease that’s affected so many individuals and their families. But, the gameplan for success, so to speak, may have a lot of similarities.
Kansas City Chiefs safety, Eric Berry knows about this from both angles. Not only is he labeled as being an All-America safety at the University of Tennessee, or being an All-Pro safety in the NFL. He can now be labeled as a cancer survivor. His accomplishments in football are great. But, they don’t hold a candle to the accomplishment he’s made over the last 248 days. That’s when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. A form of cancer that’s said to be highly curable, but is still… Cancer. The diagnosis ended Berry’s season prematurely and of course put rest of his career and his life in serious jeopardy.
Despite his young age, playing football ever again was the least of anyone’s worries for Berry. But, it appears that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Berry, showed up at Chiefs training camp on Wednesday, ready for action. It’s hard to believe that Berry will be able to pick up where he left off. However, he remained quite physically active throughout the chemotherapy that he had to go through. In fact, Berry is reportedly a pound heavier than when he was diagnosed. According to Berry, in a great article found here from the Kansas City Star website, he never lost his appetite. Thanks to his Father who cooked for him daily. His Father and his Mother put down everything they had going on to focus on their son and his recovery. His Mother placed signs all around their home that denounced any negative energy. If, you had anything less than a positive demeanor, you weren’t allowed in. Apparently, these gestures paid off greatly. Along with fight, stubbornness, and being relentless, a strong support system is needed in a battle like this. Berry, certainly had that.
This story of triumph against the odds is very inspiring to say the least. Especially, for those who suffer from this disease. It’s just a shame that this story isn’t getting its just due like other stories are around the nation. How perfect would it have been if Berry had been recognized a couple of weeks ago at the ESPY’s for HIS courage, instead of what we actually saw. The word courage is defined as; a quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face difficulty, danger, or pain without fear. There’s not a better word to describe Eric Berry. As frightening as this disease is, Berry was up for the challenge. Now, he faces the challenge of getting back to being one of the best safeties in the NFL. If cancer wasn’t able to hold him down, I don’t know what will.
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave a comment, or follow me at https://twitter.com/SportsandSwag,