BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Former Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III NFL career has been put on hold.

Metchie announced on July 24 that he was diagnosed with a form of leukemia called acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). This form of leukemia is aggressive due to too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow.

This causes a shortage of normal white and red blood cells and platelets in the body. Signs include excessive bleeding, fatigue and bruising on the body. White blood cell count may also appear high with APL.

This form of leukemia is aggressive but curable.

An oncologist with Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dr. Stephen Beck tells CBS 42 that the life expectancy without treatment for APL would be less than one month without research found in the past 20 years. He says Metchie’s leukemia does not require chemotherapy but instead another alternative.

“It can be treated with something called arsenic which is known to be a poison that people can have, but it actually can be very beneficial, and other types of antibodies can also be used to treat this,” Beck said.

He says Metchie’s age and athleticism will benefit his body for the treatment.

Fans from across the SEC have shown their support for the Houston Texan’s second-round NFL draft pick.

Landrum Roberts, the host of the radio show “Two Man Front,” says fans have put rivalries aside and have united to show their support.

“In some way or another, we have all been affected either personally by a family member or someone we know if not leukemia another form of cancer,” Roberts said. “John Metchie is still a young man beating this.”

Metchie begins the road to recovery to eventually return back to the field.