Former Purdue LB Joe Gilliam dies from cancer at age 26
Football is important.
But, there are certainly things more important than the game we all love.
On Tuesday, it was announced that former Purdue LB Joe Gilliam died at the age of 26 due to a rare form of cancer. Gilliam was diagnosed with Grade 4 spinal glioblastoma.
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The announcement came from Gilliam’s high school coach, Bill Peebles:
Gilliam was coached by Peebles at Southport High School in Indianapolis, Ind.
Cardinal Family Lost a great one today. Rest In Peace @Run_jmg3 You are loved by the entire Southport Community. Thank you for all you gave to Southport and the football program and will be dearly missed. You and You’re Family are in our prayers. pic.twitter.com/a2YWwAFwqr
— Southport Football (@SHSCardinalFB) September 12, 2018
Gilliam played at Purdue from 2011-14. During his four season as a member of the Boilermakers, he recorded 103 tackles and a sack.
Gilliams was originally diagnosed in July 2017. His wife, Rachel, posted this on Instagram late last week:
View this post on Instagram
Others shared their thoughts on social media:
Heartbroken to hear the news about Joe Gilliam passing away. Was blessed to coach him in basketball but even bigger was the blessing to know him as a person. His smile will always stick with me. Condolences to his family & I pray for a cure to cancer someday.May you Rest In Peace
— Jason Delaney (@CoachDelaney) September 11, 2018
Rest In Peace Joe Gilliam I remember watching you play football and basketball when I was in middle school, I looked up to him and the way he played. It’s a sad day for the Southport family. Thoughts and prayers to the Gilliam family @Run_jmg39
— Braunson Brumley (@BraunsonB) September 11, 2018
So sorry to hear of the passing of Southport Wall of Fame inductee & @BoilerFootball alumnus Joe Gilliam, Jr., a good man & a great competitor. Prayers for his wife Rachel, and all of his family & friends. 🙏💔
— Steve Bean (@shsfan475) September 11, 2018
My heart is hurt right now man smh…R.I.P Joe Gilliam.. love you man. Was one of the best teammates and neighborhood brothers ever. Always encouraging words and positivity is what you gave us all man.🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— GQ Smooth (@Gbread56) September 11, 2018
Never know when God calls you home ..gotta cherish everyday like it’s your last…RIH to my brother Joe Gilliam ❤️🙏🏾💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/F1HExz5iFv
— Julian Walker (@coach_juicewalk) September 11, 2018
Saddened to hear of the loss of former Purdue classmate, Joe Gilliam. Never got to know him all that well, but he had a smile that would brighten up a room. Cancer stinks! #RIPJoe https://t.co/xSYf2nJ6Fy
— Ethan Voss (@VossFore3) September 12, 2018