Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
Berry was diagnosed by doctors at Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta. A mass was discovered on the right side of his chest last month, and Kansas City placed Berry on the non-football injury/illness list and sent him to see a lymphoma specialist.
"This is a diagnosis that is very treatable and potentially curable with standard chemotherapy approaches," said Christopher R. Flowers, the director of the lymphoma program at Emory. "The goal of Mr. Berry’s treatment is to cure his lymphoma and we are beginning that treatment now."
Berry released a statement through the Chiefs on Monday:
"My family and I are very grateful for the amount of support we have received over the last couple of weeks. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate all the words of encouragement, the blessings and well wishes. I want to thank the Emory University School of Medicine, along with Dr. Flowers and his team, for all of their hard work and effort in diagnosing and creating a plan for me to battle this thing. I will embrace this process and attack it the same way I do everything else in life. God has more than prepared me for it. For everyone sharing similar struggles, I’m praying for you and keep fighting!"
Berry, who went to Tennessee, was recently honored by the Volunteers football team at their final regular season game. The team wore special helmet stickers that said "29 Strong VFL," which represented Berry's number and the phrase "Vol for Life."
The 25-year-old Berry has made the Pro Bowl three times since the Chiefs selected him with the No. 5 pick in the 2010 NFL draft. He was named first team All-Pro last season.
- Molly Geary