In2008, life for Boston College linebacker MarkHerzlich (shown here with his oncologist Arthur Staddon, MD, medical director of the JKCC) seemed to changeinstantly and drastically. One day he was practicing football and preparing forhis senior season after winning the conference’s Defensive Player of the Yearaward – and the next – he was being told he had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form ofbone cancer. It was unknown if he’d ever walk again. And of course there wasthe question of survival. But Mark was determined to live, walk and return to football.
Over the nextyear he first underwent surgery at PAH to insert a titanium rod into his leftleg and then a regimen of chemo and radiation therapy at the JKCC. His determinationand spirit got him through – the excruciating pain, the recovery and finally –a year-plus period of reconditioning. In the fall of 2010 Mark was back playingin Boston for his senior year. A year later he earned a coveted spot with theNY Giants for the 2011 season, racking up 12 tackles as a rookie for theGiants, the Super Bowl champions that year. Mark’s “tweet” when he arrived inIndianapolis for the Super Bowl went viral that January: “2 yrs ago I was told I might never walkagain. Just WALKED off plane in Indy to play in The #SuperBowl.#TakeThatSh*tCancer.” Beyond his own struggles and triumphs Mark hopes to setan example and inspire others battling cancer.