On Thursday, Ellen had a remarkable man on the show, a 20-year old named James Conner.
Conner is the Pittsburg Panthers’ college All American Running back who originally had wanted to enter the 2016 draft, but he couldn’t because he was diagnosed Hopkins lymphoma.
If you recall, Hodgkin lymphoma is the exact cancer that the Kansas Chiefs’ Safety, Eric Berry battled and kicked in 2015, where he played last season.
Conner was asked on the Ellen show to tell his inspirational story… Conner tells us that when he found out that he had cancer he decided to tell his teammates and coach showing them Eric Berry’s story.
He wanted the team to know that he would beat cancer… no time to fear it and after his diagnosis in December he received a phone call from Eric Berry himself.
Conner is positive and he said, “[My doctor] said it’s about 85-95 percent curable. That’s more than enough for me. If it was a 2 percent, I was going to beat it.”
Ellen aired a pre-taped practice showing Eric running drills while wearing his surgical mask too… the mask was worn after his chemo treatments of course.
But vid also showed us interviews by a few teammates and his coach too.
Each of the interviewed Panthers’, they each said, some real stuff. The linebacker, Matt Galambos said, “If you think you’re having a bad day and you see him in practice with one of those masks on, it’s amazing.”
Coach Pat Narduzzi says, “He had chemo yesterday and he’s off running around today, if you think you have a problem, you look over at James and your problem he has and mint makes our problems look about that big.”
Conner said, “Chemo does what it does, a little sick for a couple of days after, but umm, pick it back up.”
When Conner completed his eighth round of Chemo, he was there to participate for the teams first 2016 practice. He has a total of 12 rounds of chemo to complete and his last round of chemo is set for May 9th.
Ellen surprised Conner by giving him the chance to meet Eric Berry for his first time.
but on 2014, Conner rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns.
When Conner was talking to Ellen, she asked him if he had ever met Eric Berry and he said not in person, just by phone calls and text messages only.
So she brought Eric out…
Eric tells Ellen that one day a recruiter came up to him and told him that Conner was an amazing running back and that he was was just diagnosed with the same cancer Berry had just beat. It was after that when Eric contacted Conner and he told him, “Never limit yourself. Anything that you’re going through, you’re really battling yourself. It’s never about the chemo, it’s never about the cancer. It’s all about what you’re willing to put in to overcome whatever the obstacle is.”
Conner says, “I’m just praying those results come back good and I’ll be back on the filed. What I want to do next is carry the ball again, no mater for how many yards it is.”
He finishes it with saying, “The next season will be something to remember forever. I can’t wait for it to start. The goal is still the same, it’s just a little postponed.”
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