Houston (CBS Houston) – On Thursday Bob McNair revealed he had fought and won a 10 month battle with both skin cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
The Texans founder and CEO had been dealing with CLL and skin cancer for years, but a trip to the dermatologist’s office last year turned up more. After surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy he’s been given a clean bill of health.
“Someone asked me what my plans are and I said well I plan on winning some super bowls. That’s what we’re here for,” McNair said. “They said ‘Well I hope you’re able to accomplish that and that you have enough time to do it’ and I said well my dad lived to be 102 so I think I’m going to have enough time.”
McNair, 77, kept his diagnosis a secret from almost everyone. While away at M.D. Anderson he communicated daily with his son Cal, the Texans’ chief operating officer, and general manager Rick Smith.
“When you first start treatment there’s room for a lot of speculation as to what the end result will be,” McNair said. “We know what the result is now.”
McNair told the team of his diagnosis when they reported for OTAs. He described them as his ‘teammates’ while he battled cancer.
“I didn’t want to be a distraction,” McNair said. “You know we’ve got a lot of things going on and the last thing we need to do is be a distraction for our team and I didn’t want to do that.”
McNair’s appearance has changed over the last couple of months. This summer he arrived at a golf tournament without hair and was noticeably lighter. Even after the drastic transformation, J.J. Watt pointed McNair still knows how to rock a pretty cool mustache.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a great owner. I really enjoy playing for him,” J.J. Watt said. “I’m obviously extremely happy to hear that he is healthy and well.”
Andre Johnson, who contemplated leaving the Texans over the summer, said McNair was a big part of the reason he decided to come back.
“To hear that (he’s ok) is awesome and great to hear,” Johnson said. “He loves football and it’s something that he loves being a part of and he wants to win. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to help him do that and to help this organization do that.”