Donnie Salum, undergoing more scans, thanks well-wishers for their prayers, thoughts

Donnie Salum (center) is flanked by Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez and athletic director Greg Byrne (Salum photo)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28

Former Arizona linebacker Donnie Salum, the Wildcats’ leading tackler in 1989, provided an update to his condition Sunday concerning tumors on his skull and vertebrae and thanked well-wishers for “their thoughts and especially the prayers.”

“I have had more testing done and they found that this tumor is also on my first vertebrae,” Salum writes on his Facebook wall. “They are now unsure of exactly what kind of tumor it is. The plan initially was to wait six months to see if it was growing but that’s when we were fairly certain that it was benign.

“Now that it’s not certain. the risk of waiting may be too high as two of the possibilities out of four are cancerous. I have a PET scan (yesterday) that looks at all your insides from knees to the top of your head to make sure this is not metastasizing from somewhere else. Then I have an appointment on the 16th with my surgeon to discuss what to do.”

Salum, 46, first announced his condition last month on Facebook. Friends and supporters have contacted him and offered their support.

Former Arizona defensive lineman Chuck Osborne, whose wife Heather Osborne died unexpectedly in January at age 34, was one of many ex-Wildcats to pass along his thoughts to Salum on Facebook.

“Hang in there brother!” Osborne writes. “It has been a tough year for both of us! Just be the trooper that you are and attack this head on! I have been praying for you.”

Salum, who battles dizziness potentially from the pain-killers he has been prescribed, concludes his post by writing: “I truly appreciate everyone who has reached out in many ways and I feel very very blessed to have so many great people in my life!! Thanks again so much for all the Prayers!! If you get a moment go to your Bible (or Google ha) Romans 8:28-end. It’s always been one of my favorite passages! Be Blessed.”

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