On May 23rd, 2016 the then Pittsburgh Panthers star got the news he had been waiting to finally hear— he was cancer free. Fast forward four years and the now-Steelers running back remains free of the disease.
Thank you God 4 years cancer free today... Having cancer doesn’t define you, your mindset does. Keep fighting keep positive.. Saying a prayer for those who are still fighting during these times.. “ it started with hope” ...— James Conner (@JamesConner_) May 23, 2020
While recovering from a torn MCL in 2015, Conner began feeling symptoms of what ultimately ended up being stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Tests would discover tumors in both his head and chest as he was diagnosed with the disease on Thanksgiving Day 2015. A very difficult 182 days later he defeated the life-threatening illness.
Not only did Conner beat cancer but, as many of us have witnessed, he has become a Pro-Bowl running back for his home-town team. On top of being named to the Pro Bowl, Conner has a plethora of achievements since beating cancer including being named 1st team All-ACC, 2,300+ total NFL yards, 20 total NFL touchdowns, twice named AFC offensive player of the week (once in 2018, once in 2019) and was the AFC offensive player of the month for October 2018.
Conner has recently written an autobiography titled “Fear is a Choice” set to come out on June 16th. In the book, the Steelers star goes into detail about his battle with cancer, and his comeback to the game he loves.
Cancer, or any sort of hardship. This is the mindset to have. It's crazy what the mind can do along with faith. Stay hopeful in whatever fight you're in. https://t.co/gAz98PbKJV— Josh Barlog (@JoshBUSN) May 23, 2020
While no where near the struggle that overcoming cancer was, Conner will look to come back from an adverse 2019 season which saw him battle injuries the duration of the season. His perseverance and determination are clear; Conner can rally back from anything and 2020 could be a big year for the bruising back.
Being more than the game of football, May 23rd will be a date Conner and his family can celebrate forever.