Orlando Pride defender Toni Pressley was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment late last week, the team announced Wednesday.
The 29-year-old underwent surgery Aug. 2 at the Orlando Health Hospital. It was one day after she hosted a soccer clinic back home for the Boys & Girls Club of Melbourne, Florida Today reported.
Orlando Pride general manager Erik Ustruck released a statement lending “unconditional support.”
“We can’t imagine what Toni is going through. On behalf of everyone at the Club, I would like to extend our unconditional support to Toni, her family and the members of our Orlando Pride family throughout the entirety of the treatment process. Toni’s health and well-being is, of course, our biggest priority. We are happy to be able to provide her with the full backing of the Club, the NWSL and our partners at Orlando Health.”
The club placed Pressley on the 45-day disabled list and team doctor Daryl Osbahr, also the chief of sports medicine at Orlando Health, said they are working with the oncologists to “return her to playing the sport she loves as safely and quickly as possible.”
Pressley took to Twitter that afternoon thanking the well-wishers and asked that people not feel sorry for her.
Thank you everyone for your well wishes.— Toni Deion Pressley (@Toni_Deion) August 7, 2019
I feel incredibly lucky to have the support of my club, teammates, our supporters, and my loved ones.
I am in good hands at @orlandohealth
I will be back soon 💜💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/nHluikEx0F
Please do not feel sorry for me.— Toni Deion Pressley (@Toni_Deion) August 7, 2019
Everything happens for a reason and
Im lucky to have found out when I did.
If I can help at least woman, this will have all been worth it.
“Everything happens for a reason and Im [sic] lucky to have found out when I did,” she wrote. “If I can help at least [one] woman, this will have all been worth it.”
Pressley is a native of Melbourne, Florida, and made a third-best 96 career appearances for Florida State. She was a Hermann Trophy Watch List candidate her final two years with the Seminoles. She also made 19 appearances for the U-20 national team in 2010, including at the FIFA World Cup.
In 2015, the Pride selected her with the No. 8 pick of the NWSL Expansion Draft. She has made 52 appearances for the team, including nine this season. The defender has three career goals.
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