American journalist Chris Mortensen is famously known as the central figure for ESPN’s football coverage. He is the sports analyst for ESPN's various shows such as SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, ESPN Radio, and ESPN.com.

The 69-year-old journalist faced the biggest challenge in his life when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer in January 2016, which led to lengthy hospitalization and significant weight loss. 

Diagnosed with Cancer

Mortensen announced he was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer through the ESPN network on January 15, 2016.

He also released a statement where he stated that he was temporarily stepping away from his coverages at ESPN to battle cancer. He added that he had full support and prayers from his wife Micki, family, and colleagues to look forward to the treatment.

"Consequently, with the support and encouragement from ESPN president John Skipper and many others at ESPN, I am temporarily stepping away from my normal NFL coverage duties to better engage this opportunity to fight the good fight that is projected to affect almost 1.7 million Americans with new cases in 2016," his statement read. 

After temporarily leaving ESPN, Mortensen's treatment started with intensive chemotherapy at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The therapy worked well as cancer on his throat and the base of his tongue disappeared by August 2016.

He shared the good news through a statement on August 31 the same year, revealing he would probably be back on ESPN to work on the NFL coverage.

As promised, Mortensen returned to ESPN in September 2016 and worked on the NFL's first-round draft coverage.

Diagnosed with Another Cancer

Very soon after his return to ESPN, the journalist found himself in bad health.

In November 2016, his doctors discovered his cancer had reappeared — it had metastasized to his left lung.

Speaking with Sports Illustrated's Peter King in October 2017, the television personality revealed that his fight against cancer might continue for the rest of his life.

"There’s no definitive end to treatment for now," Mortensen said. "Its have been fairly optimistic from the start. I’ve asked [the doctors] how long this will go on, and they say maybe forever. I’m still clean at the original site."

While he gathers all the optimism and looks forward to beating cancer, he receives regular treatment to keep the problem at bay. He battles through his weight loss, health-related issues, and gets scheduled scans and exams to have an eye on his cancer.

Chris Mortensen's Bio

Born on November 7, 1951, Mortensen studied at the El Camino College before serving two years in the Vietnam War as an army.

After his tenure, he started journaling in his hometown via The Daily Breeze Newspaper in 1969.

From 1983 to 1990, he joined the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and in between the time, he also worked at The National.

In 1991, Mortensen was hired by ESPN, where he initially provided reports for NFL GameDay and the Outside The Lines series. Later, he served as an analyst for the network's coverage of the NFL draft in 1991 and 1992.

Today, he is an award-winning journalist and one of the most respected and accomplished journalists covering the National Football League. Mortensen also has a net worth of $6 million.