BC linebacker Herzlich battling cancer

May, 14, 2009
5/14/09
2:09
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, the ACC's defensive player of the year, has announced he has cancer.

Herzlich has been diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a malignant tumor most often found in bone or soft tissue.

"This past week, I got some news nobody wants to hear," Herzlich said in a prepared statement. "After undergoing some tests to determine the cause of some pain I had been experiencing in my leg, I learned that I have Ewing's Sarcoma.

"Obviously, I was shocked. I had been extremely focused on preparing for my senior season at Boston College and for life beyond that. Now, I must channel all that energy into facing my toughest opponent yet, and that is exactly what I will do.

"I have returned to Pennsylvania to be near my family and to undergo a series of tests that will help my doctors determine the best course of treatment. I will keep you informed about my progress, but for now, I would like to ask for privacy as my family and I make some tough decisions.

"At this point, I do not know what this means for my football future, but I am determined to rid my body of this disease so that I can put that uniform back on. Thank you in advance for your prayers and concern. Together, we will fight this and win."

This is heartbreaking news. One of the best things about my job is talking to the players, and I can tell you that Herzlich is one of the best. He's very well-spoken, intelligent, a natural leader, and an amazing football player. If anyone is strong enough to fight this fight, it's Herzlich.

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