|Joe Andruzzi has a message for new Patriots’ offensive lineman Marcus Cannon||05.24.11 at 9:24 am ET|
NORTON — Former Patriots’ guard Joe Andruzzi always keeps an eye on the New England offensive line, but he’ll be paying some extra attention to rookie Marcus Cannon this year. Cannon, a fifth-round pick of the Patriots last month, is battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Andruzzi can tell him all about what it takes to beat it — he’s waged his own fight with non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s lymphoma, one he’s winning.
“If the opportunity comes, I would love to talk to him, give him a little insight,” said Andruzzi, who played in New England from 2000 through 2004. “(It’s) a little different basis. He’s a rookie this year, a lot younger than when I was diagnosed.
“I’d finished 10 years (in the NFL and had undergone) six surgeries, multiple injuries, then chemotherapy. So for me, it was the tail end. I had a great 10-year career and I wasn’t supposed to make one day in this league, so I have no regrets. I was ready to hang it up. To come back after that, it would have been pretty tough being my age and years and stuff like that. How many teams would take a chance?”
Andruzzi’s cancer is now in remission, and has spent the last two years with the Patriots as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. He continues to raise money to fight the disease with the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which had its annual charity golf tournament at TPC Boston on Monday afternoon.
As for Cannon, he continues to undergo treatment, and because of his age, health and when they discovered it, he reportedly has an excellent chance at beating the disease.
“I’m rooting for that kid,” Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins said. “I read the story about how he has cancer and everything, so hopefully, everything works out great for him. That would be a great story if he has a full recovery and can play (and) have a nice career.”
When it comes to life in the NFL, Andruzzi said Monday that Cannon faces a long road, but he believes the TCU product will still be able to have a successful professional career.
“I’m sure he’s going to lose weight,” said Andruzzi. “I’m sure he’s going to lose muscle mass … But it’ll come back. You get back on your feet.
“I was way different. I don’t know [for] sure exactly what he’s been diagnosed with, but mine was Burkitt’s lymphoma, so it turned around and took me a good year to get back on my feet. A couple years out, I’m still battling some myopathy in my hands and feet and some other restrictions, but I’m alive here, enjoying a nice day of golf and talking to you guys and moving forward and trying to help other families that are struggling out there.”
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