Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/4/12
New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich will be making his first start of the season — replacing Chase Blackburn at middle linebacker — when his team faces off against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Herzlich's start — the third of his pro career — would not be so noteworthy if it were not for the circumstances surrounding Sunday's game. Herzlich, an undrafted free agent who was signed by the Giants last year, is a cancer survivor who hopes the sight of him on the field can become an inspiration to all of the area residents who are still coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy's destructive path. "It's about not giving up," Herzlich told The New York Post.  "That was my biggest thing.  I had to set a goal, and I had to stick to that goal — it was coming back and playing football again and being healthy.  And beating cancer.  And doing something people told me I couldn't do." In 2009,  Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, right after he was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year while he was at Boston College.  Months of soul-draining radiation and chemotherapy treatments forced Herzlich to put his dream of playing in the NFL on hold or, in a worst case scenario, out of his reach. Last season, his first with the Giants, Herzlich started two games before an ankle injury sidelined him for the rest of the year which, ironically, brought Blackburn back to the team. Herzlich ignored the naysayers and continued to pursue his dream. "For people fighting cancer, that's very easy to relate to, because so many times you get told, 'You have cancer' ... kind of, 'You're screwed' ... What next? Your life is over.  And that's not the way it is.  And I think that for everybody around here recently, the main thing is the hurricane.  They have houses wiped out ... trains not running, nothing's working, no one has gas.  Now what do I do with my life?" Emotions should be running high at MetLife Stadium as fans struggle to make it out to East Rutherford by any means possible.  The Giants players said their hearts and minds will be with the victims digging out of the storm. "Set that goal and keep pushing towards it and you'll come out," said Herzlich.  "Your attitude will determine how you come out. Lately, words have been thrown around like storm tossed boats during Sandy's wrath.   Herzlich is the physical embodiment that proves stricken residents will survive and go on when it is all said and done.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Miguel Cabrera headed to disabled list for 1st time in career

Report: San Antonio Spurs to sign LaMarcus Aldridge

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

Clay Buchholz not worried about trade rumors

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

Report: Pacers, Lakers Discussing Roy Hibbert Trade

Watch: Pablo Sandoval falls over railing during catch

Report: Green Bay Packers’ player charged with firing a gun in Miami

Kawhi, LaMarcus, the mid-range and the Spurs' next epoch

Tennis: How can Rafael Nadal regain his dominance?

NBA Rumors: Cavs and Spurs vying for David West

Damian Lillard is the Blazers’ new franchise player

Bryce Harper flaunts patriotic bat, hits home run

Report: Magic will sign Tobias Harris to 4-year deal

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.