Mark Duper found out he had cancer after taking part in a charity bike ride to raise money for a center to help treat the disease. The 1980's Miami Dolphins legend didn't feel right as he took part in the 150-mile bike ride in November. He told the Miami Herald he couldn't get comfortable, no matter what he tried.
“It was like, ‘OK, this is not right,’’’ Duper said. “‘I know I’m out of shape, but I’m not that out of shape.’”
After noticing the right side of his stomach looked bigger than the left, he visited doctors. Ultrasound testing discovered something right out of a horror film. Duper had a tumor close to the size of the football he used to catch all those years ago, growing inside his right kidney.
Initially doctors worried the cancer had spread to his liver. Fortunately a CAT scan determined that the cancer had not invaded other parts of Duper's body.
Less than two weeks ago, Duper had surgery that lasted around 2 1/2 hours to cut out the cancer. Dr. Mark Soloway said the tumor was confined to the former Dolphins kidney. It's believed Duper has a 95% chance of being cancer-free going forward, according to the doctor.
“Seven or eight years ago, I probably would be pretty much doomed,” Duper told the Miami Herald. “The research has advanced a helluva lot, which is great. I’m just here to tell the story.”
Only the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys franchises have a higher winning percentage all-time than the Miami Dolphins, and "Super Duper" was a big part of that success. Duper is the Miami franchise leader in receiving yards with 8,869, second in receptions and third in touchdowns all-time. Teaming with Mark Clayton to form the "Mark Brothers," Duper appeared in three Pro Bowls, while picking up one reception in the Dolphins 38-16 loss to the 49ers in Super Bowl XIX.
Duper never made the ridiculous money given to many of today's NFL stars, so while saying he was not being political, the former Dolphins star took a moment to thank President Barack Obama's work to provide health care for everyone in America.
“If I didn’t have the insurance people, if I had to foot this bill alone,” Duper said, “It would have been a devastating blow to my life and my family.”
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