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Larry Fitzgerald opens up about his regrets in his mom’s cancer battle

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Larry Fitzgerald’s mother, Carol, passed away when the now-Arizona Cardinals wide receiver was in college at the University of Pittsburgh.

On Friday, he penned an article for The Athletic expressing his regrets for the way he handled his mother’s illness and death as a young man who was not as focused on family as he should have been, which Fitzgerald realized in hindsight.

“I’ve shared publicly that my mother, Carol, died of breast cancer … What most people don’t know, and what’s very hard for me to admit, is that I regret I wasn’t more supportive during the most critical season of her life and her death.”

As Fitzgerald grew to stardom on the football field, he said his “short-sided vision” made the relationship with his mother slip. He didn’t know how to cope with her diagnosis.

“As a result, I don’t think I was as present, physically and emotionally, for my mother as I should have been.

Today, if I could go back and talk to that brash young 20-year-old, I would remind him that the pursuit of personal success should never come at the expense of healthy relationships with the people we love most.”

In Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Fitzgerald wrote this article to share what he wished he had done differently and to give advice to people whose families are similarly affected by the disease.

“If you are called to come alongside someone in the fight, consider it an opportunity to love in a way you never have before. Remember, there’s power in your presence.”

In the aftermath of Carol’s passing, the receiver created the Larry Fitzgerald Foundation and Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, which aids breast cancer research and supports survivors.

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