Excerpts from a story in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Craig Heyward was the NFL's version of a battering ram, one who preferred to run over defenders rather than around them.But a recurring brain tumor has left the once-powerful man, who was hailed as "Ironhead" during an 11-year NFL career, fighting for his life at Emory Hospital.Heyward, 39, will undergo surgery Monday following the recent news that a tumor — called a chordoma — had returned. The rare, slow-growing tumors tend to recur, sometimes more aggressively, after their initial removal.
"He's just scared," said his ex-wife, Charlotte Blackwell. "He keeps telling his sons how much he loves them."The five-year survival rate for patients with chordomas is 50 percent, said Dr. Chris Krubert, of the Apollo MD Physician Services of Atlanta; odds drop to 35 percent after 10 years."It's a poor prognosis, once diagnosed," he said.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Heyward family. :(Heyward was blind in one eye and in need of a wheelchair when an MRI last week confirmed the chordoma's return.He had been clinging to hope he would be able to walk onto the football field with his oldest son, Cameron, on Senior Night at Peachtree Ridge High School in Duluth this fall.