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Former Patriots player Joe Andruzzi carries survivor away from Boston Marathon bombing

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Joe Andruzzi carries an injured woman away from the Boston Marathon bombing. (Getty Images)

Joe Andruzzi played for the New England Patriots from 2000 through 2004, and in the NFL from 1997 through 2006. He was an undrafted guard out of Southern Connecticut State, and his NFL career was cut short when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins' lymphoma. Andruzzi won three Super Bowls and an Ed Block Courage award during his time as a football player, but his most notable and admirable challenges were yet to come.

After football, he formed the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which provides financial assistance to cancer patients. Andruzzi's foundation is also heavily involved in the Boston Marathon through the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Foundation, which put Andruzzi squarely in the middle of the bombing that happened on Monday afternoon. At this time, three are reported dead and over 130 injured.

[Photos: Explosions near Boston Marathon's finish line]

And as you would expect from a man whose three brothers were all first responders as New York City firefighters during the 9/11 tragedy, Andruzzi flew into action by helping those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing. As you can see in the picture above, he was involved in carrying those who needed help away from the scene so that they could receive medical attention. You can see a brief video of Andruzzi coming to the woman's aid here. She's clearly injured and is struggling to right herself, those around her are calling for help, and Andruzzi rushes to the rescue.

"Marathon Monday should be about uplifting stories, personal challenges and fundraising milestones, but today's bombings irrevocably changed that," Andruzzi said in a statement.

"While I appreciate the interest in hearing our perspective on today's horrific events, the spotlight should remain firmly on the countless individuals -- first responders, medics, EMTs, runners who crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to give blood, and the countless civilians who did whatever they could to save lives. They were the true heroes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy."

[Watch: Witness on 'horrifying' moments in Boston ]

There are "tough guys," and there are tough men. Joe Andruzzi is among the very best versions of the latter.

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