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Former ACC Starter Diagnosed With Cancer

A general view of the goal post during a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Texans.

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 07: A general view of the goal post during a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Texans on September 7, 2008 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Alex Officer was a consistent presence for the Pitt Panthers from 2014-17, starting in 48 of his 51 career appearances during that time.

Since going undrafted in the spring, the big interior linemen bounced around training camps, but his NFL hopes hit a skid during the summer.

After he started experiencing pain in his knee, Officer was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

Alex Officer begins chemotherapy treatments to battle the cancer next week, and hopes to play football again.

From Pittsburgh Sports Now:

Officer first noticed a nagging pain in his knee during training this summer. After getting a series of tests done, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. His treatment will require two rounds of chemotherapy and surgery. He is scheduled to begin chemotherapy next week.

Jordan Byrd, Officer’s agent, said he plans on making a full recovery and hopes to play football again.

Officer's brother Jerome Lewis, a former Akron tight end, has launched a GoFundMe in an attempt to help pay for the procedures. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi tweeted out the link this evening.

The campaign has raised over $10,000 so far, with a goal of $100,000. From the write-up:

"Hello! Meet my brother Alex Officer. He is a former football player for the Pittsburgh Panthers #63 (H2P). My brother is one of the most humble and selfless individuals I have ever had an opportunity to be around. Alex is someone who always brings a shining light into someone’s day.

Over the past few months many life changing and unexpected events have taken place with Alex and his health. During a training two months ago, Alex felt a nagging pain in his knee, he continued to fight and completed the training. Alex was taken to the hospital where he received an MRI and X-Ray his doctors then recommended he get a biopsy. Later that week he was asked to do a more invasive biopsy due to the rarity of the location. The following week we were told they found cancer in Alex’s knee, he was later diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

Alex’s sarcoma is in a very rare location and will require two separate rounds of chemo therapy and a surgery in- between. I’m attempting to raise 100,000 to help my brother over this journey and I’m asking you for your help on my way.

Alex is a self-named “Dawg” and he will win this

Let’s Go AO!"

Unfortunately, the Pitt community has dealt with this before. Officer's former teammate James Conner famously beat cancer during his college career, and is now starring at running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hopefully, Officer can have his own similar comeback story, and reach the NFL level after he clears this hurdle.

[GoFundMe]