BC’s Mark Herzlich Says He’s ’99 Percent’ Cancer Free

BC's Mark Herzlich Says He's '99 Percent' Cancer Free For Mark Herzlich, there hasn't been nearly enough good news lately. Until now.

The Boston College linebacker and 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, who was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in May, told ESPN's College Game Day crew on Saturday that he is nearly cancer free.

Herzlich said his father relayed the news to him on the phone after speaking with the doctor who is treating him.

"I was like, OK, so what did he say?" Herzlich said. "And he goes, 'Well, he looked at your MRIs, and he said he's about 99 percent sure that the cancer is completely gone."

After deciding to forgo the NFL draft last spring and stay in school for his senior season, Herzlich was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer after experiencing pain in his leg. He began radiation and chemotherapy at home in Wayne, Pa., this summer before returning to BC to resume classes and act as a coach for the 2009 Eagles.

Herzlich, who is still being treated in Boston, will be honored in Saturday's "Gold Out" game against Florida State. Students and fans have been asked to wear gold T-shirts portraying Herzlich's infamous facepaint to show support as he continues to fight cancer.

"The only reason [the doctor] wasn't 100 percent [sure] is because he hadn't done a biopsy," Herzlich added. "My next stepping stone is to get the leg strong again, get back in shape and start playing basketball and doing that stuff to try and get my wind back and everything."

While it's difficult to be back with the team despite the fact that he cannot play, Herzlich knows that returning to the locker room — one way or the other — was the right decision.

"Once my friends started to go back to school, I wanted to be back at school with my friends here," he said. "Being part of the football team was probably the biggest part. Being welcomed back into the football team the way I was can lift anyone's spirits."

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