Former Titans defensive lineman Josh Evans is in a fight right now, and he’s asking for help from the NFL community.
Evans was diagnosed with kidney cancer in January, had 13 hours of surgery, and seemed to be doing well, before getting news that it had spread. He’s awaiting further treatment, but reached out to Jim Wyatt of the Titans official website with a simple request.
“I’ve been scared — I’m scared now,” Evans said. “I’m fighting hard, man, I promise you that. It ain’t easy. But I’m fighting, and I’m praying I can get through this and I can get myself together. I am not going to give up, regardless of the news I get.
“And I want everybody out there talking to God for me, if they will. Please pray for me. Talk to God for me.”
The 47-year-old Evans played seven years with the Titans franchise, originally making the Houston Oilers as an undrafted rookie in 1995. He played his final three seasons with the Jets. He started for the Titans during their Super Bowl season 1999, but was suspended the entire 2000 season for a second violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
He’s been in a cancer treatement center in Newnan, Ga., for the last two weeks, as he awaits the next steps. After his initial surgery, doctors told him his cancer had spread to his spine and liver. He’s hoping to be able to begin radiation and chemotherapy soon. He said he hates being a burden on his family, but reflected over Father’s Day weekend about the success of his three children. His oldest daughter is studying law, his oldest son is a successful painter, and his youngest son is playing high school football.
“They are all doing good, and that makes me smile,” Evans said . “When the devil is kicking you, I look back and I see my kids and I realize I am a good father. I took care of my kids, and that is the most uplifting thing for me, knowing my kids are well and the opportunities they have ahead in life. I just want to be around to see them, and I want to see my grandkids. When the devil comes around and says “You did this and that’, I think about my kids and that lifts me up.
“Man, I know I didn’t always do things right, before all this [cancer] stuff happened. But I had finally learned to let go of my past and be happy. I was at a good place, a peaceful place, before all this. Now I am praying I get through this and I can get myself together again. Anybody out there who can talk to God for me, please pray for me. I can use all the prayers I can get.”