There is no doubt how devastating cancer can be. It affects millions of lives annually, directly and indirectly. One of the most prevalent forms of cancer is lymphoma. Lymphoma is “a cancer that starts in cells that are part of the body’s immune system”. Due to the prevalence of lymphoma, it has personally affected the lives of several athletes and coaches throughout American sports. However, the courage of those sports figures to share their fight against lymphoma has shed even more light on a critical issue.
There are several types of lymphoma. Some types of lymphoma include lymphoma of the skin, Hodgkin lymphoma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Flip Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma earlier this month and is continuing his professional duties while undergoing chemotherapy. Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry’s 2014 NFL season ended early after he was diagnosed Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After several months away from football, Berry had an emotional return a couple weeks ago during Kansas City’s preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is considered one of the most curable forms of cancer.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. Houston Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry missed the entire 2014 NFL season after his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. His cancer is now in remission and he is looking to return to action on the football field after the physical and mental battle that non-Hodgkin Lymphoma had on him. Quessenberry lost over 40 pounds, which is significant for a physical position like that of offensive lineman, and mentioned that, “I’ve been through a lot. That’s something that’s been a vision of mine throughout this whole process.” His goal remains to return back to the playing field.
Being diagnosed with lymphoma can be life changing. Boston Red Sox manager John Ferrell’s recent diagnosis removed him from his team indefinitely as he underwent treatment. After being diagnosed while having hernia surgery, Ferrell replied,”A little bit of a shocker to be told later that afternoon that this was going on. Like I said, I’m fortunate”. The battles of these sports figures during their most challenging foe informs sports fans that the fight against cancer is one every person can rally against.