Steelers James Conner Presented with Ed Block Courage Award
Pittsburgh Steelers player and Erie native James Conner was presented with the Ed Block Courage Award at the Arthur J. Rooney Sr. Courage Awards Luncheon Tuesday at Heinz Field.
Conner was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma when he was undergoing rehab for a torn MCL. He was 20-years-old and a junior starting running back for Pitt at the time.
Conner underwent chemotherapy and was declared cancer-free six months later in May 2016.
He was selected by the Steelers in the third round of the NFL draft the following year.
The awards recognize an Holy Family Institute alum and a current Pittsburgh Steelers player for extraordinary courage in overcoming challenges in their lives.
Teammates picked Conner to receive this year's Courage House award "for his resiliency, perseverance and ability to perform at an elite level following his cancer battle," according to a news release.
Erie natives Sister Maria Kruszewski, CSFN, and Holy Family Institute EVP and COO Michael Sexauer were also present at the luncheon.
Pittsburgh was the first city outside of Baltimore to present the annual Ed Block Courage Award. It is named in honor of the head trainer of the former Baltimore Colts. Every NFL team presents this award in his honor, and most NFL teams name a charity as its local Courage House. Holy Family Institute has been the charity for the Steelers for 27 years.