Originally diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a type of cancer of the blood that grows more slowly than other forms of leukemia, six years ago, McNair's life became threatened last October when a form of skin cancer he contracted was not subsiding after surgery.
As a result, McNair opted for chemotherapy and an experimental form of radiation called proton therapy, which delivers more powerful doses. The treatment produced second-degree burns on McNair's face, leading to him having plastic surgery, but it worked, and McNair was declared healthy first in May and again in a checkup on Monday.
In order to keep a low profile, McNair underwent his radiation treatment under an assumed name and was given a key to the medical center's back door.
"I didn't think I was going to die. I knew some did," McNair said. "I knew there were some rumors. That's one of the reasons I'm talking about it.
"I don't want people to think it's something it's not. I'm not ill. I'm healthy. I'm not going anywhere. We've got Super Bowls to win."
McNair, former chairman of Cogen Technologies, was responsible for bringing the NFL back to Houston with the inception of the Texans in 2002. The 77-year-old has run the franchise ever since.
- Ben Estes