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Houston Texans rookie wide receiver announces leukemia diagnosis

Metchie was coming off a torn ACL that cut his final season at Alabama short prior to his diagnosis.

HOUSTON, Texas — Houston Texans rookie wide receiver John Metchie III announced Sunday afternoon that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

Metchie, a second-round pick for the Texans, out of Alabama, says he's been diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia.

In the statement, Metchie says, "I am currently receiving great medical care, am in good spirits and I expect to make a recovery at a later point in time."

With the diagnosis, Metchie says he will likely not be playing this season.

According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, APL is a type of acute myeloid leukemia where cells in bone marrow that produce blood cells don't develop and function normally.

The good news is that most treatments are successful, with a cure rate of 90% among centers specializing in APL treatment.

In college, Metchie had 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns last season for the Crimson Tide. The junior had 55 receptions for 916 yards in 2020. He tore his left ACL during the College Football Playoff semifinal but said he will be ready to play when training camp begins in July.

Metchie was born in Taiwan and lived in Ghana before moving to Canada where he lived until age 14. He received the Jon Cornish Trophy as Canada's top NCAA player for a second straight year after the 2021 season.

“If you spend some time to getting to know his story, his story is probably as unique as anybody in the draft," Caserio said. “He’s very worldly, this kid is an awesome kid, very smart, very studious, tough as nails."

The form of leukemia he was diagnosed with is the most treatable, according to doctors.

“This happens to be a form of leukemia that's highly curable and most patients do very well with the treatments,” Dr. Adan Rios said.

He's with Ut Health Houston and Memorial Hermann.

Doctors said the most common symptoms can be bleeding and that this type of leukemia is very common to see in Hispanics.

“It occurs mostly at a younger age. Usually, the median age is about 40 years of age,” Rios said.

Doctors said Metchie is in the right city to get the treatment he needs.

“It’s no secret that this is the largest medical center in the world (Texas Medical Center). And some of the fundamental work in the management and treatment in this leukemia has been done in the Texas Medical Center,” Rios said.

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The leukemia he was diagnosed with is the most treatable, according to doctors.

“This happens to be a form of leukemia that's highly curable and most patients do very well with the treatments,” Dr. Adan Rios said.

He's with Ut Health Houston and Memorial Hermann.

Doctors said the most common symptoms can be bleeding and that this type of leukemia is very common to see in Hispanics.

“It occurs at mostly at a younger age. Usually the median age is about 40 years of age,” Rios said.

Doctors said Metchie is in the right city to get the treatment he needs.

“It’s no secret that this is the largest medical center in the world (Texas Medical Center). And some of the fundamental work in the management and treatment in this leukemia has been done in the Texas Medical Center,” Rios said.

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