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Letter From Packers President/CEO Bob Harlan


To all fans of the Green Bay Packers,

This morning, October 14, I made an announcement to members of the Green Bay Packers organization that I feel is important to extend to you, the fans.

Two weeks ago today, I found out that I had skin cancer, melanoma, in two different locations of my body: behind my right ear and on the back of my right shoulder. Last Wednesday, October 8, I went to St. Vincent Hospital here in Green Bay and had surgery to remove the lesions.

The early reports since then have been very encouraging. I feel extremely fortunate that this was caught early, and that it wasn't more devastating.

Today I returned to the Packers' administrative offices here at 1265 Lombardi Ave.

I plan to work half-days for the rest of the week as I ease back into things, but I expect to be back full-time next Monday.

I have been told by the doctors that I'll have a weakness in the right side of my face and in my right arm for a few weeks until I bounce back, but in truth I could work a full day today if I wanted to.

I have good strength, a good appetite and, most importantly, I want to be here.

From this point, I'll see my doctor every three months for the next year, and then every four months in the two years after that. There's certainly a possibility of a recurrence, but there's also the possibility that it won't reoccur.

It's something that I obviously want to stay on top of.

Certainly there's a lot of uncertainty going through your mind the week you find out you have cancer, and the day you have to have surgery, but I had great doctors and people at St. Vincent Hospital to help me through.

This all started about three weeks ago. I had a mark on my neck, which the doctors had looked at several years ago, and it came back and started getting bigger. Then my wife, Madeline, noticed a spot on my back and she encouraged me to go to the skin doctor to have it checked.

I went into the doctor for tests Wednesday, Sept. 24. When I got back from the Monday night game against the Chicago Bears, the first call that I received Tuesday morning, Sept. 30, was my doctor saying that both lesions were indeed cancerous.

The next day I went in for more tests, but thankfully the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes or the rest of my body.

I attended the Seattle Seahawks game Oct. 5, conducted the Packers Board of Directors meeting Oct. 7, and went in for a 2 p.m. surgery Oct. 8.

The reason I didn't say anything about this in the week between finding out and having the surgery was due to the uncertainty of what the procedure was going to show.

This is my first day back in the office since the surgery and I felt it was a good time to tell everybody. I didn't want rumors to spread, and I didn't want people to think that my office would sit empty, because it won't.

By next week I'll be back full-time. In the meantime business will continue as usual. Led by Executive Vice President/COO John Jones and GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman, we've been in very good hands.

The doctors have been extremely positive and supported my return to work without hesitation. I'd like to compliment all the people at St. Vincent for the way they handled everything. They were outstanding.

My experience is a great reminder of the importance of early detection in cases like these. I encourage everyone to see their doctors regularly, or immediately if they suspect something might be wrong.

I'm choosing to let people know this way, through this letter, because I think this is a story that should just be told once. I understand that there might be the need for an update down the road as I continue to meet with my doctor.

This is as much as I know at this point. I want to be as up front with everyone as I can be and there's nothing else to be said at this time.

I thank everyone in advance for your prayers and support. I feel very blessed, and from here we just keep moving forward!


Bob Harlan

Green Bay Packers President/CEO

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