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Timeline of Eric Berry’s Journey from Cancer to NFL Return


In early January 2015, Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry posted the following quote on his Facebook page: “‘You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live’ ~Stuart Scott.”

ESPN sportscaster and anchor Stuart Scott had passed away Jan. 4 after succumbing to a longtime fight against appendiceal cancer.

It was clear why the quote resonated with Berry: He himself was undergoing chemotherapy treatments for the cancerous mass that was discovered in his chest the previous month.

On Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, Berry, whose career has been marked by achievements, will have his greatest one yet: He will take the field in an NFL game after successfully beating cancer.

Berry’s journey from diagnosis to returning to the field hasn’t been especially long—unfolding in less than a year—but it has been emotional.

Berry is the heart and soul of the Chiefs, a locker room leader who is one of the league’s best players at his position. Since his rookie season in 2010, his presence on the field has made the team more competitive.

But in late 2014, Berry had to step away from football to face his greatest opponent to date: Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What follows is a complete timeline beginning not with Berry’s diagnosis, but the start of his exceptional NFL career: Berry’s ascension from starting rookie to Pro Bowler in his first season, to overcoming a season-ending ACL tear in 2011 and, ultimately, his fight back to the field in 2015.

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