You have more-than-likely heard Eric Berry’s story by now, but, in case you haven’t: he’s been to hell and back. In 2011, he suffered a torn ACL shortly after getting drafted. He returned to the NFL. In 2014, he was diagnosed with lymphoma — and many wondered if he would live, let alone play football again…
He returned to the NFL. Again.
This May, Berry finished his chemotherapy treatment and was declared cancer-free by doctors. And finally, last night: Berry made his highly-anticipated return to the field for the Kansas City Chiefs — just in time for their preseason match up vs. the Arizona Cardinals.
It was emotional — to say the least…
Eric understood the power of the moment, and does not sound like someone who is going to take this opportunity for granted — as he was quoted on the team’s website before the game…
“It just all hit me,” said Berry, who in November was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I don’t think anyone can really understand the road I took, the sacrifices I had to make, the feelings I had going through those times, just to be able to experience the things I mentioned to you at the beginning. You take the little things, and you appreciate everything about the game and everything that surrounds the game. It’s a blessing to be out here, and I’m going to take full advantage of the opportunity I have.”
“I’ve got to take advantage of this opportunity because it’s bigger than football. … It’s just amazing seeing how everybody else gets so much hope just from seeing me strap on the pads even before I could get on the field. Just to see me practice and see me out there on the team does so much for them. So I’ve got to go hard. I’ve got to give everything I’ve got.”
Couldn’t have said it any better ourselves, Eric…Godspeed.
(h/t The Kansas City Star for the video)