Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has received a clean bill of health after a 10-month battle with two forms of cancer.
The 77-year-old McNair opened up about his ordeal on Thursday at a news conference attended by family members and his treating physicians at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
“In the past, if you mentioned cancer, people thought it’s a death sentence,” McNair said. “That’s just not nearly the case.”
McNair says he’s dealt with skin cancer for about 20 years. He traces the condition to his youth, when he incurred severe sunburns working as a life guard on a beach in the time before protective sunscreen. He’s been seeing a dermatologist regularly for two decades and says he’s had a handful of minor procedures to remove non-cancerous growths on his skin.
About six years ago, McNair was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a form of the disease that originates in white blood cells in the bone marrow.
With his immune system compromised more during treatments, McNair was told to avoid public contact. While undergoing treatments, McNair kept in frequent touch with the team by phone with general manager Rick Smith and his son, Cal, the team’s chief operating officer. McNair told his players about his situation before organized team activities in May.
“He’s always about the team,” star receiver Andre Johnson said. “When he sat down and talked to us as a team, all he could talk about is how much he loves football and it’s something that he loves being a part of and he wants to win.”
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