UC Berkeley football legend Geoff McArthur has cancer


Geoff McArthur sits in a healthcare facility area inside USC Norris Complete Cancer Heart.

It is Monday. He sounds drained. Much more exhausted than he ever sounded soon after any of the 51 online games he performed for the Cal football crew involving 2000 and 2003, right after which he remaining the Golden Bears as their all-time foremost receiver with 3,188 profession getting yards.

McArthur — Aaron Rodgers’ leading concentrate on all through Rodgers’ two seasons in Berkeley — has non-Hodgkin diffuse massive B-cell lymphoma, a treatable most cancers with a 64% chance of a 5-calendar year relative survival level (which means 64% of individuals with this variety of lymphoma stay as lengthy more than the ensuing five years as men and women without the need of cancer). The most cancers has currently unfold to his neck, upper body and stomach, and medical practitioners have been prodding, scanning and poking him with needles considering the fact that May perhaps 20 — when he was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed — to see if it’s distribute to his mind and backbone.

McArthur presently had his initially spherical of chemotherapy and has extra scheduled from now all the way till September. And which is going to be high-priced, especially since McArthur is in in between work opportunities — he lately resigned as the head soccer mentor at St. Monica Catholic Substantial School in Santa Monica and accepted a position as the wide receivers mentor at national superior college soccer powerhouse St. John Bosco, some thing he describes as a “dream work.”

Many thanks to a broken-for-a lot of American health and fitness care technique where overall health care is tied to your employment, McArthur has been forced to abruptly crowdfund his mounting health care payments. In considerably less than 48 hrs, he’s already raised a lot more than $70,000 on a GoFundMe, with a list of donors that you could effortlessly mistake for an early 2000s Cal roster sheet. From J.J. Arrington and Steve Levy (who left a notice with his donation: “The Bear will not Stop, The Bear will not die. Love you #6”), to Langston Walker and Brian de la Puente, his former teammates jumped at the probability to be there for McArthur equally economically and emotionally.

“I retained it to myself at first, I didn’t want individuals to know, for the reason that what can another person really do for you? They can wish you perfectly, say they are praying for you, but there is not actually a detail everyone can do. I didn’t want it to be a large offer. But at the identical time, I bought to a place where I realized I simply cannot do this by yourself,” McArthur advised SFGATE through phone on Monday. “The to start with folks I advised were my girlfriend, my mother, my brother, then it was some of my Cal teammates.”

Existing Cal receivers mentor Burl Toler and NFL wideout DeSean Jackson have been some of the very first people to know. Then McArthur instructed Tosh Lupoi and Chase Lyman. A Cal football assistance team broke out, that includes Rodgers, the Eco-friendly Bay Packers quarterback.

“That’s the neat issue about the bond we experienced in 2003, 2004,” Rodgers informed SFGATE by way of telephone. “There’s a shared link by means of putting your body on the line, it allows fellas to bond at a deeper level. The issue that genuinely strikes me is we’ve gotten older alongside one another, many of us are near to 40. That was like 50 percent my life in the past when I was at Cal. There is been some tragedy alongside the way, some fatalities, some cancers and ailments, and it is tough, but I think the superior point about people men is a ton of us retain in contact. It is a fantastic support process. That’s what [Cal head] mentor [Jeff] Tedford instilled in us. 

“It was so particular heading to Cal individuals two many years, to be section of this kind of a linked workforce and see what genuine chemistry appears to be like like — that does not halt when you are performed enjoying.”

And even though an injuries-riddled vocation kept McArthur from pursuing his NFL desires, he’s hardly ever given up soccer. He’s coached all more than Southern California, additionally even did a 5-year stint in Canada, ahead of eventually landing the coveted assistant part at Bosco.

And in genuine McArthur style, he’s intent on paying his clinic downtime — having said that lengthy it lasts — planning for the first match of the season, an Aug. 26 affair in Allen, Texas.

“I’m heading to get my playbook and watch movie and make certain I acquired my receivers properly taken treatment of,” he explained. 

In the meantime, his Cal help process is fully commited to producing guaranteed he’s taken care of.

“We glimpse to each individual other for assist,” Toler explained to SFGATE. “I know how tricky it is for him to say anything at all about anything, but as soon as he shared the information, from there it’s, ‘What’s the strategy of action?’  He appreciates how to do it all and he can do it all, but scenarios like these contact for more men and women to get included.”

Sure adequate, a lot more and far more Cal football greats have surfaced to aid out: Toler and McArthur also stated Marshawn Lynch, Andre Carter and Tully Banta-Cain. 

“Geoff is a seriously very good human, was a great teammate and I consider everyone beloved him,” Rodgers said.

That appreciation has followed McArthur by means of his vocation as each a participant and a mentor, as evidenced by the multitude of givers, which incorporated just one anonymous $25,000 donation — a lot more than a 3rd of all the dollars elevated.

“You’d like our health and fitness care process to not care who you perform for, how very long you operate there,” Toler claimed. “In a problem like cancer, there doesn’t need to have to be a waiting period of time on status or profits or occupation title or nearly anything, it just desires to be taken care of. It is undoubtedly disheartening, but there’s practically nothing to do about it today. I’m just grateful Geoff has impacted that a lot of individuals. At times when you have to have assistance you need to swallow your pleasure and request for assistance, and absolutely everyone wants to give to him for the reason that he’s specified so a great deal in the previous.”


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