ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the Bills prepare to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in their yearly Crucial Catch game, one player is opening up about his fight with cancer and the importance of early detection.

Offensive guard David Quessenberry was diagnosed with a type of non-Hodgkin’s T-cell lymphoma back in 2014. A year after he was drafted by the Houston Texans, he started feeling run down and had a nagging cough. He told News 4’s Kelsey Anderson he almost passed out at practice, so he was sent to the doctor and ultimately diagnosed.

“Thankfully, I was in Houston and MD Anderson is a very well-known cancer hospital, and they took me right there and we got it going,” he said. “But as far as everybody else goes, if you’re not feeling right and you’re not feeling there, or mammograms, staying on top of that, those are the things that really save lives and help you get out ahead of the fight and give you the best chance at beating this thing.”

Quessenberry spent three years fighting the disease, on and off the field. In that time, he learned an important lesson: Maintain hope.

“This treatment and disease takes so much away from you: your hair and your appetite and your taste and smells and all these things, but don’t give it your hope, your happiness or belief that tomorrow is going to be a good day,” he said. “Don’t give away your mentality to this disease because it already takes so much. Do your best to stay positive, lean on the people around you and try to find the beauty all around you every day.”

In 2017, Quessenberry got back on the field with the Houston Texans. After some time with the Tennessee Titans, he came to the Bills organization in 2022.

Since 2009, the NFL has raised awareness of early detection through their annual Crucial Catch games and gear. If you buy Crucial Catch gear, any profits made by the Bills Store are donated to The American Cancer Society. Learn more here.

WATCH the video above to see the moment he rang the bell, signaling his end of treatment, and ripped it off all the wall!

Bills Mafia

Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor who came back home to Buffalo in 2018. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.