Chiefs players optimistic after Eric Berry's diagnosis - KCTV5

Chiefs players optimistic after Eric Berry's diagnosis

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Chiefs players were at the Tony Aguirre Community Center to promote healthy lifestyles among the kids in attendance, but their hearts are with teammate Eric Berry. Chiefs players were at the Tony Aguirre Community Center to promote healthy lifestyles among the kids in attendance, but their hearts are with teammate Eric Berry.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

KCTV5 caught up with Kansas City Chiefs players at two different community events Tuesday and, while their focus was on the kids, their hearts remain with their teammate.

"I'm constantly thinking about him, pulling for him and being there for anything he needs. He's an amazing person," quarterback Alex Smith said.

Smith took a time-out from teaching students from Alta Vista Middle School about living a healthy lifestyle at Tony Aguirre Community Center to talk about his friend and teammate Eric Berry. Berry, the Chiefs starting safety, was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and will start treatment immediately.

“Certainly has his teammates shocked and sad at first, but to see his attitude and perspective on things was very impressive, especially for as young as he is. He's a very mature young man," Smith said

It's a beatable battle doctors say especially if it's in the early stages. Margo Miller got the same diagnosis in 2006.

"For a cancer, if you put everything on a dart board and you throw a dart, that's the one you want it to land on," Miller said.

Miller has been cancer free for three years and said attitude is a big part of the fight. That, Berry's teammates say, is one of his strengths.

"I wouldn't expect him to come out any other way. That's just how he is, that's the type of person he is and that's what he does on a day-to-day basis in football and now he's in for the fight of his life and he knows it," quarterback Chase Daniel said.

"We are holding up well," running back Charcandrick West said.

West greeted fans at an Independence KFC Tuesday to raise awareness for "First Downs for Down Syndrome". He said staying positive for Berry isn't an option, it's what Berry wants and needs from his Chiefs family.

"Eric, the type of guy he is, he doesn't want us to be sad. He wants us to stay in high spirits to help him fight through this," West said.

The following day players were back at practice, but Berry was still on their minds.

"He's got great doctors and a good relationship with his doctor, which I think is big," said Head Coach Andy Reid said. "One thing Eric is, he's physically fit and if you've got to have one of these things (types of cancer) this one, there is a high cure rate."

Back in the locker room the team still had heavy hearts as they thought about Berry. They said he's a fighters and he'll find a way to get through it.

"What he's going through and how he's handling it, it's making it easier for us to accept it because of how the mind frame that he has," linebacker Joe Mays said.

"He's been extremely brave through this whole situation. I couldn't imagine being in his situation and I hear from other guys that have talked to him that he's handling it great," linebacker Frank Zombo said.

A T-shirt designed by the players that says, “Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Berry,” is being sold in the Chiefs Pro Shop at Arrowhead Stadium for $20. The shirts are hanging from cubbies all over their locker room.

"We're a family here, you know, Chiefs kingdom, so when something happens you got to stick together and support everybody through tough times,” offensive lineman Eric Kush said.

Fans can also purchase the shirts at kcchiefs.com. All proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Doctors said, depending on how Berry responds to treatment, there is a chance he could return to the team next year.

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