Friends holding benefit for local former NFL player - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Friends holding benefit for local former NFL player

SYLVANIA, OH (TOLEDO NEWS NOW) - Rick Upchurch has reached out in his lifetime to help others.

Now others are reaching out to help him.

The Springfield High School graduate has been diagnosed with leukemia.

His friends have organized a benefit on Sunday in Sylvania to help him pay for thousands of dollars in chemotherapy and blood test bills. 

Upchurch played nine seasons in the NFL for the Denver Broncos.

He was a receiver and return specialist and was even selected to four Pro Bowl teams.

Rick retired in 1983 and soon lost all health insurance.

"After we retired, we had two years of health insurance with the NFL. After that two years, we were basically released from the team and their liability as far as our health is concerned," said Upchurch

At one point, he had his own business but had to shut it down.

Now all of his medical expenses are paid out of his pocket.

"What do I do for income? I go out and do a lot of motivational speaking. I do a lot of football camps," said Upchurch.

Upchurch says his leukemia prognosis is good and the best medicine is being back home with his friends. 

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RICK UPCHURCH HAS REACHED OUT IN HIS LIFETIME TO HELP OTHERS.

NOW OTHERS ARE REACHING OUT TO HELP HIM.

THE SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH LEUKEMIA.

HIS FRIENDS HAVE ORGANIED A BENEFIT ON SUNDAY IN SYLVANIA TO HELP HIM PAY FOR THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN CHEMOTHERAPY AND BLOOD TEST BILLS. 

UPCHURCH PLAYED NINE SEASONS IN THE NFL FOR THE DENVER BRONCOS.

HE WAS A RECEIVER AND RETURN SPECIALIST AND WAS EVEN SELECTED TO FOUR PRO BOWL TEAMS.

RICK RETIRED IN 1983 AND SOON LOST ALL HEALTH INSURANCE.

"After we retired, we had two years of health insurance with the NFL. After that two years, we were basically released from the team and their liability as far as our health is concerned," said Upchurch

AT ONE POINT, he HAD HIS OWN BUSINESS BUT HAD TO SHUT IT DOWN.

NOW ALL OF HIS MEDICAL EXPENSES ARE PAID OUT OF HIS POCKET.

"What do I do for income? I go out and do a lot of motivational speaking. I do a lot of football camps," said Upchurch.

UPCHURCH SAYS HIS LEUKEMIA PROGNOSIS IS GOOD AND THE BEST MEDICINE IS BEING BACK HOME WITH FRIENDS.

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