Former Miami Dolphins receiver Mark Duper doing 'great' after having cancerous kidney removed
"Super Duper" teamed up with fellow "Marks brother" Mark Clayton to put up prolific numbers in the Dolphins' high-scoring offense. He was a favorite target of Dan Marino. (Staff file photo/Robert Mayer / November 9, 2013)
Duper said his experience has given him a new outlook on doing charity work. He discovered the cancerous tumor early enough only because he was riding his bike Nov. 5 in the second Dolphins Cycling Challenge.
The challenge raises money for the University of Miami's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in memory of the late Jim Mandich, who was diagnosed in 2009 with bile duct cancer.
Duper, who starred with fellow receiver Mark Clayton for the Dolphins in the 1980s and early '90s, said he was breathing hard and in discomfort during the bike ride, prompting an examination that led to doctors discovering the tumor.
"Sometimes we take it for granted, doing charity work,' he said in a phone interview.
"I never thought that when I was riding in the Mandich bike ride that I was carrying around this thing in my body.'
Duper said Dr. Mark Soloway, who led the surgical team, told him the cancer had not spread and that he would not need chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
"I'm definitely out of the woods. They caught everything,' he said.
"They took one of my kidneys, and I'm very fine with them making that decision.'
Duper said he will be more determined than ever, once he is fully recovered, to continue helping raise awareness and money for cancer research.
"You don't know how you feel and what goes through a (cancer patient's) mind until you are put into that situation,' he said. "Nowadays, when people say 'cancer,' they look at you funny, like you ain't going to be around for a long time. But keep pouring that money into research and let them find ways of attacking that disease.'
Duper said he's looking forward to riding in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge next fall. He said he felt a little tired Tuesday but was happy to be home.
"It's so good how I'm feeling right now," he said. "I feel great.
"I guess I've been a fighter all my life. You may stop me one time on the football field, but there ain't no second time.'