James Conner had the opportunity to spend time with a fan that is battling a rare form of cancer before the Pittsburgh Steelers game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Conner met with a guy named Rich who has been diagnosed with sarcoma cancer which is considered to be untreatable. Rich's friend, Rusty Sergent, connected with the Steelers running back and told him he would be at the game on Sunday since that was on Rich's bucket list. The two had field passes to the game and Sergent asked Conner if he could meet with Rich to give him some encouragement.
Conner said yes and when all three got together, they shared an emotional moment. Conner even signed Rich's jersey and wrote, “Rich! Keep going … F— cancer.” And all three got together for a picture.
Please let me meet him! Looking forward to it! ✊🏽🙏🏽 https://t.co/SVmKfymagp— James Conner (@JamesConner_) November 22, 2019
This led to a number of Steelers fans showing love to all three on Twitter. One fan wrote, "James you are amazing & love how cognizant you are of your outreach and platform. Special person regardless of being an NFL star."
Another fan wanted to give Rich a hug. The Twitter user wrote, "You're a fantastic football player, James. You're an even better person. Prayers to you for being so kind. @SergentRusty
please give Rich a hug from someone who has been there & tell him I'm praying for him."
And another fan knows what Rich is going through as she is dealing with a similar illness. She wrote, "I too am battling a sarcoma, stage 4 Uterine Leiomyosarcoma. That guy standing there is a tough cookie! Sarcomas are beasts! My best to him as he continues on his journey and thanks to our awesome @JamesConner for taking the time to talk with him."
Conner understands what Rich is going through as he was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma while playing at the University of Pittsburgh back in 2015. He was cancer-free by the time his senior season came and he finished the year with 1,062 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Conner was drafted by the Steelers in the third round in 2017 and he didn't see much action due to Le'Veon Bell being the No. 1 running back. However, when Bell held out for the entire 2018 season. Conner led the Steelers with 973 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. This year, Conner has recorded 390 rushing yards and four touchdowns in eight games.