Staff photo by Chuck Liddy
North Carolina senior Jessica Breland has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and is undergoing treatment at UNC Hospitals, Breland's family and UNC announced today.
According to a news release, Breland is being treated with chemotherapy.
“The last few weeks have been a really emotional time for me, but I’ve got a very positive attitude about my treatment and I’m looking forward to getting healthy and getting back to playing basketball as soon as possible,” Breland said in a statement.
“I’ve been keeping my normal schedule, going to class, helping out with camp, and I’m not going to let this get me down. I’ve got lots of love and support from my family, my friends, my teammates and my coaches and I know I’ll be back and better than ever soon.”
Breland, of Kelford, has been one of the Tar Heels' key players during her career. Last year, she was Carolina's second leading scorer with 14.1 points and led the team with 8.5 rebounds per game.
Dr. Mario Ciocco of UNC Sports Medicine said Breland should respond to the treatment.
“Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a very curable form of cancer,” Ciocca said in a statement. “Factoring in Jessica’s age and her overall
good health and athleticism, we anticipate a positive response to her treatment. Her condition will be monitored closely here in Chapel Hill and she will continue to be reassessed throughout the summer.”
Breland's treatment is expected to continue through the fall.
“Obviously, this news came as a shock to everyone, but Jessica is a fighter and I know that she will attack this with the same attitude and energy she brings to the basketball court,” UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said in the release. “Our focus is 100 percent on helping Jessica to get better.