'Terrified' NFL Legend Michael Irvin Reveals He's Been Tested for Throat Cancer
Famed Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin opened up about his health fears in an emotional Instagram post after undergoing testing for cancer this week.
The 53-year-old Pro Football Hall of Famer spent two days at UCLA Medical Center undergoing a biopsy on his throat, he revealed on Wednesday. The test was performed after Irvin experienced problems with his voice during an eight-week stretch following a Cowboys game against the New Orleans Saints.
“This past football season after the Cowboys beat the Saints I was so elated and hyped I lost my voice and the problem persisted for almost 2 months,” Irvin wrote on his page. “After visiting some of the best throat doctors they thought it to be wise to take a deeper look at the situation. So we scheduled and performed a throat biopsy.”
Irvin acknowledged that he was “terrified” at the prospect of having the disease, as his father died of throat cancer. His brother, Vaughn Irvin, also died of stomach cancer in 2006.
“To give background, I share with you that I [lost] my father at the young age of 51. He had throat cancer. This daemon has chased and vexed me deep in my spirit all my life,” Irvin wrote. “So saying I am afraid this time is a big, big understatement. I AM TERRIFIED!!”
Irvin, who now serves as a sports commentator, said he learned at an early age to suppress fear in most scenarios, but his health situation has rattled him.
“Growing up in the ghetto of Ft Lauderdale the one thing you have to conquer to get out is FEAR. I did!” he continued. “As a football player, the no fear gift served me well as a blessing and an asset on the field but sometimes off the field it’s been a curse and a liability.”
During his 12-year career — which was spent entirely with the Cowboys — Irvin made five Pro Bowls and won three Super Bowls. His former teammates reached out to him following the news.
“We have and we will continue to [pray] for you and your family brother,” wrote former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith in the comments section of the post.
“Lots of love and support for you Irv,” added legendary quarterback Troy Aikman. “Sending prayers my man!”
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Irvin has not yet announced the results of the biopsy but asked his supporters to send their prayers during the difficult time.
“My Faith tells me whenever you face great fear you go to your greatness power. Mine is God. I am asking all who will,” he said.
“Could you please send up a prayer to help my family and I deal with whatever the results may be? Thanks for your thoughts and prayers in advance,” Irvin added. “I will continue to pray for your fams protection and prosperity as well. May God Bless us all.”