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Ron Rivera’s tenure with the Washington Football Team hasn’t been the easiest. While the NFL investigation and team name change have provided its challenges, Rivera also had to weather a personal storm last year.
Last offseason, Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) located in a lymph node. He fought, and coached through the 2020 season despite having to undergo radiation and chemotherapy. There were times where he was clearly physically struggling, but he showed up every Sunday and was there for his players.
Rivera wrapped up cancer treatment last October and received a biopsy earlier this week confirming that he is still cancer-free one year later, according to Washington’s official website. To celebrate this, Washington’s players surprised Rivera with a “Rivera Strong” decal they will wear on the back of their helmets this Sunday when they take on the Atlanta Falcons. The team also surprised Rivera with a $25,500 donation to the St. Jude Red Frog Events Proton Therapy Center.
Check out this video Washington put together to celebrate Rivera’s one-year anniversary of being cancer-free.
“As a coach, you always wonder if you get a chance to reach out to the players and touch them,” Rivera said after watching the emotional video in a team meeting. “This was awesome, man. Thank you.”