New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich has volunteered to accompany general manager Dave Gettleman to a chemo session.
Gettleman, 67, announced last week that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma and is determining a course of treatment.
Herzlich was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma before his senior season at Boston College in 2009. The 30-year-old Herzlich, who has been cancer-free for the past nine years, told Dan Duggan of The Athletic that he learned it’s helpful to “have someone else come and be a distraction from actually doing it.”
“I know how hard the feeling of first getting diagnosed is because you’re so nervous and scared about what’s going to happen,” Herzlich said. “I just wanted to let him know that I was here for him if he had any questions, little chemo tips that you learn along the way: Have a Jolly Rancher when you’re getting your IV in and put hot sauce on everything because it blinds the taste — little things like that. It’s a tough ordeal for him and for anyone who gets diagnosed.”
Gettleman was the Giants director of player personnel when Herzlich signed with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2011. Herzlich considers Gettleman a “winner” and doesn’t expect that to change in his fight against cancer.
“I’ve known him from a long time ago, but you can just tell from his opening press conference. There’s no option. It’s just, ‘OK, this is one other thing that I’ve got to do that I’m going to beat,'” Herzlich said. “He’s been a winner his entire life, so that’s not going to change with this.”
Gettleman said in part of his lengthy statement last week that the prognosis is positive and that he is expected to start treatment in the “very near future.”
Per the Mayo Clinic, lymphoma is a cancer of part of the body’s germ-fighting network and more common in males over the age of 55.
Gettleman is entering his first year as general manager of the Giants after holding the same position from 2013-16 with the Carolina Panthers.
He headed the pro personnel department with the Giants from 1998-2012 before taking the Panthers’ GM job.
Gettleman was hired by the Giants to help turn around a team went 3-13 last season. Gettleman overhauled the roster this offseason with some notable acquisitions — namely offensive tackle Nate Solder — and cut several key veterans, including wide receiver Brandon Marshall and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.