Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera was declared cancer-free following an investigation Thursday following tweets from his wife Stephanie and daughter Courtney.
Stephanie Rivera tweeted, “Prayers have been answered. Thank you to all of the doctors and nurses who @RiverboatRonHC and me” trained “and gave us the cancer raffle raffle. The PET scan said it all, cancer, you got this one Battle lost! #RiveraStrong “
Courtney Rivera tweeted that she “just got on the phone with mom and dad leaving the hospital @RiverboatRonHC is officially cancer free !!!”
Courtney Rivera works as a producer for Washington’s social media.
Prayers were answered. Thank you to all the Drs & Nurses who “trained” @ RiverboatRonHC and me and gave us the raffle plan to beat cancer. The PET scan said it all, cancer, you lost this fight! #RiveraStrong
– Stephanie Rivera (@ CoachRiv2) January 28, 2021
– Courtney Rivera (@ NFL2Ucla) January 28, 2021
Ron Rivera announced on Aug. 20 that he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and had to be treated for seven weeks during the season, including three rounds of chemotherapy and proton therapy five days a week.
He finished his treatment on October 26th. That day, a video captured the moment as he walked down the corridor of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, flanked by cheering medical staff – all wearing black “Rivera Strong” T-shirts – that culminated in he rang a bell, to mark the end
Although his prognosis was good from the start, the treatments took a toll. He had to use a golf cart while exercising and his energy levels decreased. But he only missed three training sessions and never missed a game, despite admitting he was close to stopping a week earlier in the season. But he prevailed.
He had to adjust his daily routine. He took a nap all day – for example after videoconferencing with reporters. His wife or daughter would drive him home in the late afternoon or early evening as the tiredness overwhelmed him.
“Sometimes you get sick,” he said in October. “Sometimes your balance is upset, almost a feeling of dizziness. And then the nausea. It hits you anytime, anywhere. But the tiredness of practicing it has limited me, and it bothers me because I can.” I don’t train the way I train. “
Rivera, 59, lost 36 pounds and weighed 232 at one point – six pounds below his playing weight with the Chicago Bears in the 1980s.
“I was amazed. Usually our patients stop working halfway,” said Dr. John Deeken, oncologist and president of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, told ESPN in November. “Most of our patients almost go to the hospital near the end of their treatment because of so many complications.”
Rivera and Washington were rewarded when they won the NFC East. Washington won five of their last seven games 7-9 before losing to Tampa Bay in the wildcard round of the playoffs. The players said throughout the season that watching Rivera battle cancer inspired them. The coaches said it made a difference.
“This team watching him understood when he said we are going to have chances and win and change the culture. They saw it firsthand because they saw what he was going to go through,” said assistant defensive coach Richard Rodgers in December. “He was consistent in what he wanted to do.”
Rivera said he wants to become an affordable health care attorney. His brother Mickey died of pancreatic cancer in 2015.
“After you look through it and see how expensive it is … you think, ‘Geez, how can people afford this who are not in the situation or position I am in?'” He said in November. “That really helped me shape my views. I just said and thought we needed affordable care for everyone in the US.”