With the Buffalo Bills sitting at 1-0 and tied for the AFC East lead following a comeback victory against the New York Jets, it would be expected that quarterback Josh Allen and this offense would be the top story on Wednesday afternoon. However, that certainly wasn't the case. Instead, the focus switched to little-known defensive tackle Kyle Peko.
When training camp began, the Oregon State product headed to join the Bills bearing the weight of considerable stress. Peko revealed at the time that his wife, Giuliana, had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The family had learned the news earlier in July, which made it difficult for Peko to leave his wife at home, but she insisted.
Fortunately, there is no longer a concern as Giuliana has revealed that she is officially "CANCER f—ing FREE."
Bills DT Kyle Peko at practice after getting the good news this week that his wife, Giuliana is cancer free! She was battling stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma when he reported to training camp over the summer as the team and #BillsMafia rallied around him. @WGRZ pic.twitter.com/684gjQSnFj— Heather Prusak (@haprusak) September 11, 2019
Peko was back at practice for the Bills on Wednesday while serving as a member of the team's practice squad. He reacted to the news about his wife's health by telling reporters that a weight has been lifted off of the family's shoulders. Additionally, he expressed gratitude to the diehard Bills fans, known as the Bills Mafia, that constantly sent messages of support throughout this stressful battle.
"I would definitely love to let the Bills Mafia know how appreciative and grateful we are for all the love and support!" Peko said.
Peko's wife may be cancer-free, but that doesn't mean that the story is over. They still plan on meeting with her doctors in the coming days to discuss potential future treatment options. The Peko family wants to take every possible step to prevent a return of cancer.
Originally, the team was completely caught off guard that Peko even showed up for training camp. With his wife being diagnosed with cancer, it was expected that he would miss significant time while she underwent treatment. However, he only missed one day of work, which could be attributed to his wife putting her foot down.
"It’s crazy that I’m here, but it’s her. She wouldn’t want it any other way," Peko said during training camp. "I’ve just got to be strong for her and my kids. I have to be the rock here as much as I can while she’s back there taking care of business."0comments
Ultimately, Peko did not land on the active roster as he was waived during final cuts. That did not end his tenure with the team. Peko is back with the Bills after joining the practice squad, where he spent much of the 2018 season.
While he may not be participating in games as a member of the Bills, Kyle Peko is still getting paid to work with the team's coaching staff, and now, his wife is cancer-free. This is close to an ideal scenario for him.