Real-world problems: Cancer survivors and awareness

(Photo sourced from: Wikipidea)
(Photo sourced from: Wikipidea)

Since 2009, the NFL and American Cancer Society have teamed up every October to help bring awareness to cancer. The campaign, “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer,” has helped bring light to viewers of the NFL. While sometimes it may seem that athletes are superhuman, they struggle with the same real-world problems that everyday people do. 

Some current NFL players have dealt with cancer. Trent Williams, an all-pro offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers discovered in 2019, while playing for the Washington Redskins (Commanders now), that he had a growth on his brain. He had the growth removed and then had to sit out the entirety of the 2019 season. The following year, Williams was able to get traded to San Francisco where he has continued to be one of the best offensive linemen in the whole league. 

John Metchi III was drafted by the Houston Texans in this year’s draft in the second round. The rookie out of Alabama was diagnosed with leukemia in July and has been unable to play professional football since then. He has said that he will return to the football field when the time is right. 

Eric Berry, former safety for the Kansas City Chiefs, discovered a mass growing on his chest in the 2014 season. He was later diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was told he probably wasn’t going to be able to return to the football field. The next season, Berry would defy the odds and return to football, winning Comeback Player of the Year in 2015. 

Athletes from other sports have dealt with cancer and returned to the field as well. In the baseball arena,Trey Mancini, right fielder for the Houston Astros, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2020. Mancini received treatment and returned in time for the start of the 2021 season.  These athletes help show people that it is possible to beat cancer and all hope isn’t lost.

Editor’s note: This topic is very important to me because of the impact it has had on my life. My dad is a cancer survivor who beat brain cancer. My uncle was diagnosed with a rare adrenal cancer that has been hard for him to fight. It’s very important to bring light to this issue because it affects a lot of people, and there is still no cure for cancer. It’s important to get screened and be able to detect cancer early. 

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