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Cancer survivor David Quessenberry makes NFL debut

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This Christmas Day is extra-special for Houston Texans guard David Quessenberry.

Promoted to the active roster last week after a three-year battle with non-Hodgkin T-lymphoblastic lymphoma, Quessenberry made his long-awaited NFL debut Monday in a 34-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The 2013 sixth-round pick added a boost to Houston's "jumbo" packages as an extra blocker in running situations.

After losing 70 pounds during the chemotherapy and radiation process, Quessenberry vowed in 2015, "I will be back out there. That will be a special day. I've been through a lot. That's something that's been a vision of mine throughout this whole process."

Monday's return to the gridiron is the culmination of a long, arduous journey for Quessenberry, who missed his rookie season with a broken foot. When the former San Jose State star had trouble breathing at minicamp in June of 2014, doctors found two liters of fluid in his right lung and a left lung that wasn't fully expanding. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with a potentially career-ending non-Hodgkin T-lymphoblastic lymphoma and set forth on a 30-month maintenance program.

Owner Bob McNair immediately assured Quessenberry that the Texans would stand behind him during his battle.

"Mr. McNair came by himself and he told me he'd been praying for me," Quessenberry recently shared with The MMQB's Robert Klemko, "and that I shouldn't be scared or worried about football, that I should focus on beating this thing."

Upon completion of his cancer treatments last April, Quessenberry ripped a celebratory bell off the wall.

Currently undergoing chemotherapy for esophageal cancer myself, I can't imagine withstanding the rigors of an NFL game just eight months after battling the daily ravages of extensive treatment.

A hero on the football field and a role model in the cancer community, Quessenberry recently found time to reflect in concert with Klemko:

"I don't to like to say that cancer did anything good," Quessenberry explained. "I don't like to give cancer that credit. It's a terrible disease that takes the people we love too soon. If anything changed my outlook, it would be the way people came to help me and my family when we were a family that needed help. That's a very beautiful part of the human spirit, that when someone's in need, people come from all over to help them out.

"Cancer didn't create that love. That love was there. It just kind of showed itself."

Quessenberry can't place a value on this year's Christmas gift. Forged by the fire of overcoming a debilitating illness, he can finally savor the fruition of a hard-earned, lifelong dream.

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