In the summer of 2019, at just 27 years old, Diamonique Valentine felt a lump in her breast. Issues with her insurance led her to a free cancer screening program where she was diagnosed with Stage 3 triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease that often resists standard therapies.
“It just seemed unreal,” Valentine told CBS News. “It felt like a nightmare.”
With the support of her husband, Marcus, Valentine battled through 16 rounds of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. Doctors now screen her for cancer every three months.
“Being there to support her has been one of the most amazing, biggest blessings that we’ve had, because a lot of people don’t have that,” Marcus Valentine said.
Valentine credits her faith, her family and the Eagles for helping her cross the goal line into recovery.
“We’re in a new season, like a new bird, we got a new head coach, we got some new picks,” Valentine said. “So I feel like, for us as well, we’ve been through some turmoil. We’ve been through ups and downs, and it’s like a new season of fresh new energy.”
It’s that energy that prepared them for this moment. On Saturday, the Valentines were guest announcers for this year’s NFL draft thanks to the league’s Crucial Catch program.
“Together with the American Cancer Society, the program raises funds for prevention and screenings, like the one Valentine received,” the Crucial Catch program said in a YouTube video.
“We are on the road to victory because of critical initiatives like the Crucial Catch and organizations like the American Cancer Society,” Valentine said during the draft. “Back to you to make the pick. Go Eagles!”
A reminder that sometimes a team’s reach can go far beyond the field.
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