Co-Founders Eric and Danielle Beverly drive the passion for providing the Foundation’s services. After Danielle’s three breast cancer diagnoses, they started The Eric R. Beverly Family Foundation to improve survival rates of low-income breast cancer patients by providing assistance to help them deal with issues that other patients don’t face.
In 2003 at age 29, Danielle, a former college athlete, was doing what she loved. She was coaching girls’ high school basketball while pursuing a teaching certificate. She and her husband, Eric Beverly, an NFL player with the Detroit Lions, were looking forward to expanding their family in the near future. Life was grand, as they say.
That year she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma insitu (DCIS), non-invasive breast cancer, the "good" breast cancer as some say. Because it was non-invasive, chemotherapy would not be needed, but a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction was ordered. After successful treatment and surgery, life seemed to return to normal.
However, in March 2005, just a year after her first reconstructive surgery, Danielle’s MRI and biopsy results were abnormal. The tests revealed DCIS was still present in the breast area and a second surgery would be necessary. Surgery revealed the cancer had become invasive this time and chemotherapy would be needed. At only 31 years of age, she was battling breast cancer for the second time in her short-lived life. After six months of intense chemotherapy treatment, Danielle and Eric celebrated not only her victory over cancer, but her 32nd birthday as well.
Once again, the victory was short-lived. At 36 weeks pregnant, Danielle found a lump in her left breast and the diagnosis again was cancer. Just one month after giving birth to Lia, a healthy baby girl, Danielle had surgery to remove the cancerous tissue and then began radiation treatment followed by hormonal therapy.
Today, cancer-free and a three-time cancer survivor, Danielle and Eric are shining examples of what it means to live beyond breast cancer.
Eric R. Beverly
Eric Beverly played 10 years in the NFL – seven seasons with the Detroit Lions and three with the Atlanta Falcons. Danielle’s third breast cancer diagnosis came as he was about to to rejoin the Detroit Lions. Eric made the decision to retire so that he could be in Atlanta with Danielle and their daughter, Lia.
Demonstrating his value and versatility on and off the field, Eric completed the Harvard Business School’s NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program in 2006. His professional off-season experiences included internships with the NFL league office and Kmart Corporation, as well as an elected term as team representative with the NFL Players Association.
After retiring from the NFL, Eric became the Coordinator of Academics for Football and Academic Counselor for Soccer at the University of Georgia. During his four-year stint at Georgia, the football team recorded some of the highest term GPAs in the school's history. In addition, Georgia ranked top 10 in APR score among the nation's top 25 football teams. He then was named Assistant Athletics Director for Student Services at the University of Texas at Austin.
He now serves as Director of Operations-Professional Sports Clinical Programs at Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine (TISM).