Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick crossed a major milestone Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of his Guillain-Barre Syndrome discovery. It’s been a long, bumpy road for the 28-year-old, who’s just now feeling like his old self again.
A poignant Frederick took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to reflect on the last 365 days, exuding appreciation toward those in Cowboys Nation — and outside of it — who’ve helped him overcome the rare autoimmune disorder.
“Today marks the one year since I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. In reflection, this past year has been quite a journey and I’d like to express some gratitude: to my fans, supporters, and strangers that have reached out, thank you for providing outlook an encouragement; to my trainers, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, thank you for continuing to push until we found a diagnosis and getting me the best available care as quickly as possible; to my coaches and the Cowboys organization, thank you for sticking with me and allowing me to be a part of an amazing year last year; to my strength coaches and rehab specialists, thank you for being by my side through the tough moments when we didn’t know where this thing would end up; to my teammates, thank you for accepting what I had to offer and having me along for the ride; to my friends and family, I’ve learned your love and support has no end, and I cannot thank you enough.
To everyone that has reached out with their story or asked for support in their or a loved one’s journey, you’ve shown me that there is a huge community of others that have been or are going through it. You are not alone, and there is hope.
Most importantly, to my wife, Kaylee, thank you for your relentless guidance, care, love, and support, and thank you for all of the hard work you did to pick up all of the slack that I left.
I am excited to put this chapter of life behind me, and get back to normal. I’ve never been so happy to see normal again.”
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Frederick’s Return to the Field
A four-time Pro Bowl pivot man, Frederick missed the entire 2018 season upon being diagnosed last August. He was moved to injured reserve for the duration, and in January underwent surgery to repair a damaged shoulder ligament, which added to his already extensive rehabilitation process.
After participating in offseason workouts and practices, Frederick played nine snaps in Dallas’ preseason-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 10. The reps went as planned and the 2013 first-round draft pick declared himself “back to normal.”
“There was some thought there, but again, my goal of the whole thing is to try to make it as normal as possible and get it back to normal,” Frederick said, per ESPN.com. “So for me, having a normal opportunity to go back out there, play that normal amount, nine plays, one series whatever it was, that was good. That was exactly what I wanted and needed emotionally, mentally and physically.”
On Track for Week 1
There was some doubt as to whether Frederick would be fully healed — emotionally, mentally and physically — in time for the Cowboys’ regular season debut against the New York Giants. And while Frederick’s on schedule in that respect, he’s looking at the bigger picture, with a deeper sense of gratitude.
“We’re not yet 100 percent to the football questions, but at some point we’ll get there,” he said, per ESPN. “It certainly is good to be thinking about football and not thinking about my health and whether or not I’d be able to walk in the future, you know? Now it’s whether or not I can play football at a high level again.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL