Vikings' Udeze recovering from leukemia

By Dave Campbell

Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE — His head shaved bald and his face a bit thinner than before, Kenechi Udeze otherwise looked fit and strong Friday as he proudly announced a pair of remarkable developments in his three-month fight against leukemia.

The disease is in remission, and the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive end has found a bone marrow donor.

"I just kept my faith, and here we are today," said Udeze, who just found out on Wednesday his blood and his bone marrow were cancer-free.


He has also learned his older brother, Thomas Barnes, is a match for his marrow and will be able to donate for a yet-to-be-scheduled transplant.

Udeze did not rule out participation in the upcoming NFL season, but for now putting the pads back on is not a short-term goal. He must still undergo chemotherapy twice a week and has more progress to make before his body is back to normal.

"That’s all I’m focusing on right now. Football’s not going anywhere, and just like football I’m not going anywhere," Udeze said.

His condition at this point, though, is clearly best-case scenario for this disease, defined as cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Udeze began to be bothered by migraine headaches in early February and after about a week he realized something else was wrong.

What To Read Next
Get Local