Peko reports to Bills while wife battles Hodgkin's lymphoma

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Peko says he’ll have to be “the rock” for his family while his wife, Giuliana, is at home battling Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Peko spoke after reporting to training camp for practice Friday, a day after being excused by the team to miss the opening session. Peko revealed his wife’s illness in a message posted on his Instagram account while awaiting his flight to Buffalo on Thursday.

He says Giuliana was informed of the diagnosis about a month ago. Peko called the news devastating before referring to his wife as being strong and a fighter.

He said she’s doing well and remaining positive.

As much as Peko wanted to stay home to be with his family, he said Giuliana urged him to attend camp. “She wouldn’t want it any other way,” he says.

They have been married for 4-1/2 years and have two children.

Peko was an undrafted free agent, who spent his first three seasons with the Denver Broncos. He spent most of last season on the Bills’ practice squad and was re-signed by Buffalo to a reserve-future contract at the end of the season.

Bills coach Sean McDermott says it’s admirable Peko reported to camp and adds the team will do everything it can to support the player and his family.

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