Video: Eric Berry surprises Pitt RB amid cancer battle
Former Tennessee star and four-time NFL pro-bowl safety Eric Berry had his 2014 season with the Kansas City Chiefs cut short due to a diagnosis that would change his life: Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
But it didn’t take long for Berry to overcome his battle with cancer and return to form as one of the league’s best defensive backs. He fully recovered and returned to the field for the 2015 season, where he racked up 61 tackles and 10 pass breakups, earning the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year honor.
Berry has been a symbol of hope for many with the same (or similar) diagnosis over the last year-plus, including Pittsburgh running back James Conner, who was diagnosed with lymphoma last November. Berry was one of the first to call Conner once the news was out in the open, but the two had never actually met in person.
Not until Thursday, at least.
Conner, who was the 2014 ACC Player of the Year as a sophomore, joined the Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss his diagnosis and the process of beating the horrid disease. However, he wasn’t aware that Berry was waiting behind the scenes.
At the 5:10 mark, you can see Berry making a surprise appearance on the show. He offered words of encouragement to not only Conner, but anyone who is currently fighting cancer:
“Never limit yourself,” said Berry. “Anything that you’re going through, you’re really battling yourself. It’s never about the chemo, it’s never about the cancer. It’s all about what you’re willing to put in to overcome whatever obstacle it is, and I think that’s the biggest thing that you’re challenged with when you come in contact with any type of trial is seeing how tough you are mentally to actually do what you want to do.”
Conner continues to battle lymphoma but has reportedly been doing well with treatment and expects to be suited up when the Panthers take the field in Week 1 for the 2016 season.