Eric Berry


Eric Berry’s story of courage in the face of adversity  is inspiring in more ways than one.

In the scandal-ridden world of NFL, Eric Berry has hit the headlines for all the right reasons.

Diagnosed in November with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the Kansas City Chiefs player pushed through the tears, the pain, the treatments, and yet sort to help others who he said, had it worse than him.

An example of this is the low-key visit he made with his mother, Carol, to young cancer patients at KC’s Children’s Mercy Hospital in June.

Eric with his mom visiting a children's hospital in June

Eric with his mom visiting a children’s hospital in June

They sat on a stage, there to talk a room of 50 or 60 parents and kids and doctors.

Ecic Berry told them he was fighting as hard as he could, and that he was living his message of giving everything you have for each day.

“I couldn’t think of anybody better to be a role model for my kids,” Michelle Bone, mother to Daeton, Haydon and Bradon, told Kansas City. “That’s one thing my kids absolutely take away from him, something that’s affected them. You have to believe in yourself.”

And that belief in himself lead to the most extraordinary of announcement’s this past Wednesday — he was now cancer-free.

“Really, when you look at it, you’re not battling the chemo, you’re battling yourself the whole time. It was me versus me,” he said during his press conference. “There were many times where I didn’t know if I would wake up tomorrow. I would just be up scared to go to sleep.”

That same day he walked onto the practice fields at Missouri Western State University, joining rookies and select veterans Wednesday for the start of training camp.

This courage and determination means Berry’s legacy extends way beyond the playing field — he is now a symbol of hope to those who need it most.

“He’s special to them,” says Brad Warady, Children’s Mercy director of dialysis and transplantation. “The kids always like to see one of their own, someone who’s dealing with a chronic illness, deal with it and overcome it and show there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“Seeing Eric succeed, seeing Eric back on the field, that’s a real positive for the kids.”

As for Berry, he says of his cancer battle: “It’s been a roller coaster, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Berry and his mom during his announcement Wednesday

Berry and his mom during his announcement Wednesday