HOUSTON -- Hearing the news that his friend and former teammate Eric Berry was facing a possible lymphoma diagnosis shocked Houston Texans safety Kendrick Lewis. He immediately reached out and quickly realized something about Berry.
"His mindset and his approach to how he’s going to attack it is just far beyond what you expect," Lewis said. "I know him. I know what type of person he is. If anybody could be strong about that, it’s Eric Berry."
Berry and Lewis were part of the same draft class in Kansas City. Berry was a first-round pick, and the Chiefs took Lewis in the fifth round. They grew close in their time together there through the end of the 2013 season. Lewis became a free agent and joined the Houston Texans before this season.
This week, news broke that a mass was found in Berry's chest that is suspected to be cancerous. Berry was placed on the nonfootball injury list. It was an all-too-familiar tale here in Houston. Texans offensive tackle David Quessenberry is currently battling lymphoma; he was diagnosed in June.
Quessenberry also reached out to Berry via Twitter and he's texted him every day since. When he called Berry, though, their conversation wasn't much different from normal conversations they might have. After asking how he was doing, Berry quickly turned the conversation back to football, Lewis's new team and what else was new in their lives.
"He’s a strong, very mentally tough guy," Lewis said. "It takes a lot to get Eric down and get him out of his comfort level. He’s always smiling, he’s always happy. … He’s got an obstacle that he’s facing, but he knows that with support and stuff like that, he’s going to be fine. With the grace of God, he’ll see him through."