Graduate assistant Kyle McCarthy, a team captain for Notre Dame in 2009 as a player, has been diagnosed with cancer and will need to take intermittent leaves of absence from the program, the Irish announced Thursday.
"A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a very treatable form of cancer," McCarthy said in a release issued by the school. "(Wednesday) I began chemotherapy as the next step in eliminating this disease. I'm truly blessed to have such amazing love and support from family and friends."
In his first year as a graduate assistant, McCarthy works primarily with the secondary. Knee injuries ended a brief NFL career last fall. He played in 12 games for Denver during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
"Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks," McCarthy said. "I expect a full recovery and look forward to returning to the team during and after my treatment. Go Irish!"
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a release that the team will give McCarthy all the support he needs.
"Kyle's attitude and outlook toward his treatment is remarkable," Kelly said. "We are very confident he'll receive the necessary treatment to make a complete recovery."