Pitt running back James Conner has just defeated the most daunting opponent of his life. Conner tweeted out today that he has been declared cancer free. In a shocking December press conference that many had pegged as his decision to declare for the NFL draft, Conner revealed that he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
God is AMAZING. Just got the call that my body is clean of cancer!!! Been a long road but God had my back. Thanks everyone who said prayers!
— James Conner ️ (@JamesConner_) May 23, 2016
Conner has displayed determination and spirit from day one. At his initial press conference he declared, “Fear is a choice. I choose to not fear cancer. I choose to fight it and I will win.”
He also added, “I will play football again. I will be at Heinz Field again… I thank God I chose Pitt because now I have the best doctors in the country and together we will win.”
His bravery in the face of uncertainty about not only his football career, but his life, has been truly inspiring. Conner made an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show to discuss his story. During his interview ,James was introduced to a hero of his own, Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who also battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Conner has been exercising and practicing with the team even while undergoing chemotherapy. He completed the last of his 12 treatments on May 9. He got the good news today that he shows no signs of cancer. His will and desire have served as motivation especially for his teammates.
“I think it really motivates me is the days when he’s not there,” offensive linemen Adam Bisnowaty said, describing the effect Conner has on them. “We know he’s in there getting chemo, and sitting in a chair all by himself. It’s when you start thinking I gotta work harder for him today.”
Pitt opens their season September 3 against Villanova. Conner has said all along he hopes to be back on the field by then. With the odds he’s already overcome to this point, I certainly wouldn’t bet against him.