Panthers' Ron Rivera takes on pancreatic cancer that took his brother's life

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera and his wife Stephanie have joined the fight against pancreatic cancer.

Rivera recently lost his brother, Mickey, to the disease. He missed two of the first three practices of training camp to attend the funeral in Reno, Nevada.

In a letter on PurpleStride Charlotte, an organization that raises money to fight pancreatic cancer, the Riveras wrote this to announce a fundraising contest they will hold on Sept. 12:

Join Stephanie & Ron Rivera and help support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network!

Ron and I are grateful that you are considering helping us with our fight against Pancreatic Cancer. There are several ways you can participate.

If you would like to join our team and walk with me on September 12, 2015, just click the purple "Join Team" button on the right-hand side of this page! You will need to fill out all the forms to get a race package from the Charlotte PurpleStride organizers.

To make a general donation to Team MJR click "Donate Now" on the right-hand side of this page!

Or if you would like to become more involved, we challenge you to form your own team and set your own fundraising goal. The Top 3 fundraising Teams and Top 3 Individuals will be invited to a special dinner with me and Coach Ron Rivera as a thank you for your efforts to battle Pancreatic Cancer and support our efforts to #WageHope.

On behalf of our family, thank you again for your support of Mickey J. Rivera, our new Guardian Angel.

God Bless,

Stephanie & Ron Rivera

Rivera called Mickey one of his "1st and best teammates" when Mickey passed the week before camp opened.