New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich is making the most of his time away from football.

On injured reserve since the end of the preseason, the seven-year veteran is working with the various causes and organizations he supports, from the United Way to the Joyful Heart Foundation to his role as a member of the NFL Players Association’s executive committee.

This past week, Herzlich spent time raising money and awareness for a cause that’s near and dear to him, cancer research. Appearing on the Today Show, Herzlich joined hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager outside in the plaza to discuss his own journey and throw some game-winning passes to fans.

“I’ve been very blessed,” Herzlich said. “A lot of the science that went into creating the type of medicine that really helped me get through my disease were provided for by foundations like the American Cancer Society. It’s so awesome that the NFL has partnered with them to give back to – to create more survivors. That’s the goal.”

Herzlich was the first NFL player to participate in the Today Show’s ‘Tackling Cancer Challenge’. Each day, a different pro threw five pink footballs to five plaza fans. For each pass completed, the NFL donates $1,000 to the American Cancer Society through its Crucial Catch campaign. The other four pros were Kareem Jackson, Nick Mangold, Greg Olsen and Devon Still.

Herzlich, a linebacker by trade, showed off his quarterback skills and completed all five of his passes, raising $5,000 in the process.

By Friday, all five pros had completed all five of their passes as well, bringing the grand total to $25,000 raised that directly goes to the American Cancer Society.

In 2009, prior to his senior season at Boston College, Herzlich contracted Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. The doctors told him he had a 10 percent chance of survival, and that if he did survive, he would spend the rest of his life with a limp, meaning his football career was over. Herzlich is now a seven-year veteran, and has spent his entire career with the Giants. He was part of the Giants Super Bowl XLVI team his rookie season.

Learn more about the NFL’s Crucial Catch campaign by visiting their website here.

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