Mark Herzlich has defied tremendous odds. And he did it twice. His story aired on 60 Minutes last week and inspired over 18 million viewers. If you need a little inspiration today, read Mark’s story. You will not be disappointed.
Mark was coming off an all-star year as a linebacker at Boston College. He was at the top of his game and ready to be a first round draft pick. Then he found out he had cancer.
During the season Mark had been experiencing excruciating pains in his leg which turned out to be Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Ewing’s sarcoma affects fewer than 400 Americans per year. Over 130 of those who are diagnosed do not survive.
Then, he fought for a career doing what he loves most – playing football. Through some terribly painful and grueling days, he fought. The man who had been told by doctors that he may never be able to run again was signed this fall to the New York Giants.
He continues to make an impact off the field too, raising funds for Uplifting Athletes, a nonprofit organization which aligns college football players with rare diseases to generate awareness, research and advocacy campaigns. In the U.S., a disease is considered rare (also known as an orphan disease) if it affect fewer than 200,000 people. Rare diseases are often ignored by pharmaceutical companies because working towards a cure is not a cost effective business endeavor. Yet nearly 30 million Americans (or almost 1 in 10 people) are affected by the 6,800 known rare diseases.
When I launched this site I wanted to tell the stories of those who have overcome adversity and those who pay it forward; of human interest and social good. Mark Herzlich is a perfect example of that. As a New York Giants fan, an alumni of an Uplifting Athletes chapter university and the parent of a child with a rare disease, I am so glad that Mark Herzlich has found this marbles and so proud to be able to tell his story.
You can find out more about Uplifting Athletes at www.UpliftingAthletes.org or follow them on Facebook (UpliftingAthletes) and Twitter (@UpliftingAthletes). Found the Marbles supports non-profit organizations in their goal of serving others and did not receive compensation for this post. Photo Credit: © David Watts Jr. Dreamstime.com