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49ers linebackers coach Johnny Holland to step away from team amid cancer battle

Aug. 30 (UPI) -- San Francisco 49ers linebackers coach Johnny Holland is stepping away from the team as he battles cancer for the second time in the last three seasons.

Holland was initially diagnosed with multiple myeloma -- a cancer of plasma cells -- in 2019. In a statement released Monday, the football coach revealed the cancer has returned.

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The 56-year-old Holland said he will be away from the organization starting Sept. 6 to begin another round of treatment at Stanford Medical Center and the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center.

"In sharing the details of my diagnosis, my desire is that I can be an advocate and beacon of hope for those who are battling cancer to help remind them that we're all in this together," Holland said in a news release. "I am thankful to the York family, John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, and the entire 49ers organization for their constant support and encouragement.

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"I would also like to express my gratitude to the doctors and healthcare professionals at Stanford Medical Center and UCSF Medical Center, who continue to assist me during my treatment plan. And, of course, my wife, Faith, and our children, who have been a blessing with their endless love."

The Green Bay Packers selected Holland in the second round of the 1987 draft. The former linebacker played all seven of his NFL seasons in Green Bay, and he was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2001.

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Holland -- in his fifth season with the 49ers -- is entering his 23rd season as a coach in the NFL. He had previous coaching stops with the Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns.

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