Chase Jones was an 18-year-old freshman catcher for the University of North Carolina back in the fall of 2006. That was when he got diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer that had spread down his spinal cord.

"It just crushed me," Jones says. "I'd put all my stock in my body, and that showed me how that was a mistake, because when something is off, it totally racks you."

As Jones fought and went through treatment and lost his hair to chemotherapy, his teammates shaved their heads in support. Jones, racked as he was, responded fantastically. Brain surgery, rounds upon rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and six months later, Jones had made it. His cancer vanished, remarkably, by March 2007. From then through the spring of 2011, he played.

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One of college basketball's best players is fighting the good fight against mental illness.

Royce White has led Iowa State to the doorstep of its first NCAA tournament birth in seven years, but it's his battle off the court that is drawing well-deserved attention. White is one of nearly 40 million Americans dealing with an anxiety disorder.

The 20-year-old has been on medication since he was an early teen.

"Anxiety isn’t really something you can measure," White told the Des Moines Register. "That’s why it’s so hard to diagnose, so hard to pinpoint. If I didn’t take my medication, any number of things could happen -- it could affect my mind, and my body. I could get the sweats.

"What anxiety is, is your mind telling your body that there’s a threat, so it produces adrenalin so you can fight off that threat. That could make you do anything, conceptually, but I’m not a dumb individual. I wouldn’t do something off-the-wall like skydive."

White is afraid of flying, but unlike retired broadcaster John Madden, who traveled by bus, he travels by plane with the Cyclones around the Big 12. Royce tells the Des Moines Register he will "ask the flight attendants 10 times if the flight's going to be all right."

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Tebowing, Bradying and Planking are all fun, but there's a new self-portrait phenomenon in sports that's just plain powerful.


Zach Lederer, an assistant manager of the University of Maryland men's basketball team, is lifting spirits from coast to coast. The 18-year-old is battling a brain tumor for the second time in his life, according to

Lederer had surgery again on January 25 to remove a cancerous mass, but the Baltimore Sun reports it's what he did with a camera from his hospital bed, while still feeling the effects of anesthesia just minutes after the operation, that has ricocheted around the social media world.

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J.K. Rowling said, "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

A New York woman made all the right choices when she successfully used social media to return a camera full of Super Bowl memories.

The first-grade teacher from Long Island was in Indianapolis to witness the Giants' upset of the Patriots earlier this month when a fellow fan asked her to take a photo of his family with his digital camera. In the excitement of the moment, Mary Ellen McPaul forgot to give the camera back to the random fan -- instead putting it in her purse by mistake.

Once she became aware of her error, the teacher wanted to do the right thing, but she had no idea who the owner of the camera was.

"I was just so sad that this man wasn't going to have photos with his family" McPaul told FOX 59 Indianapolis. "I thought, 'I have to do something.'"

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Surely the media has been snowed by the feel-good story that is Jeremy Lin. Churchgoer? Harvard grad? Street baller without the 'tude?


GQ decided to look past all the hype and find out what really took place on the mean streets of Cambridge, Mass. when JLin was enrolled -- allegedly! -- at Harvard.

Prepare to be shocked.

Lin had a girlfriend in college and the relationship ended. Gasp! Turns out, however, they parted on "amicable terms." Oh.

How about this? Lin had a teammate in school who went down with an injury. So the point guard went for the jugular, took his job, and never looked back? GQ reports ... Lin went to the team nutritionist and asked for suggestions on what foods the injured player could eat to recover faster.

And then he spiked the food, right?! Actually no.

Well there is a beer story in here. GQ writer Dennis Tang asks a Lin pal if the phenom has ever had a drink. The response: "I mean ... to say he never has would be ... lying."

There you have it. Wait. What? The friend then goes on to compare Lin to Tim Tebow? And he also bought In-N-Out for a homeless guy?

Fine. But did he get the fries animal style?

Oh forget it. Jeremy Lin's a great guy. Read the rest of the GQ story here.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

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By Darren Rovell

January 31 9:29 am: Tweet from @AntonioBrown84: Indianapolis #steelernation talk to me
January 31 9:39 am: Tweet from @sdpaladin: @AntonioBrown84 I live in Indy! Let's get lunch! How's 12:30?

It started just like that.

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown had arrived in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl with some time on his hands. So he told his fans where he was. Seth Paladin, a die-hard Steelers fan, had planned his normal Tuesday. He was about to start his day as a sales representative for home security company ADT. But the fan in him decided to be bold, as he quickly scanned his Twitter timeline before going out. Not expecting much, he tweeted at the Steelers Pro Bowler, with 85,000 followers. He wanted to see him in person.

"When I first tweeted at him, I thought there was a very slim chance that he'd see it," Paladin said. "When he replied, I thought to myself, 'This is crazy.'"

What happened next is the most amazing story of athlete-fan interaction in the short history of social media.

That's a pretty high bar, by the way.

Kevin Durant, in the mood to play flag football during the lockout, was told there was a game at nearby Oklahoma State. He showed up. Chad Ochocinco treated 66 of his Twitter followers to a fancy dinner. Shaquille O'Neal offered tickets to a game for anyone who tagged him in a mall. He gave away 30 tickets that day.

But no professional athlete has ever spent the kind of time with a fan that Antonio Brown spent with Seth Paladin during Super Bowl week.

After a series of replies, direct messages, texts, and calls, Brown eventually invited Paladin to his hotel room. They immediately hit it off. With an open schedule, the two of them headed over to a local gym.

Click here for slideshow
Slideshow: Die-Hard Celeb Sports Fans

There, Brown showed Paladin, a Pittsburgh native, his workout routine. They lifted weights. They swam laps in the pool.

And if the story stopped there, it would have been remarkable. But it was far from over.

That night, Paladin invited Brown to his friend's birthday at the upscale chain, The Capital Grille. Brown, who signed a three-year, $1.29 million contract as a sixth-round draft pick in 2010 and made a second-year minimum of $450,000 this past season, graciously picked up the entire bill full of drinks, appetizers, entrees and dessert.

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Michael Chandler left the hospital room not sure what to think. He'd spent time talking and trading stories with a 7-year-old named Robbie, who was not unlike most boys his age.

He liked all the things most 7-year-olds liked, and at one time was full of energy and vigor.

But Robbie was dying of cancer.

Michael was struck by how much Robbie wanted to hear him talk, by how warm and sincere Robbie's smile was, by how genuine he was and by how much it meant to Robbie that Michael had taken the time to visit.

Truth be told, Robbie made Michael feel good, too. Michael couldn't forget the smile, despite how weak Robbie was and how poorly he must have been feeling.

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Thousands of Americans rummage through yard sales every weekend in the hopes of finding hidden gems, but one NFL fan stumbled upon an NFL treasure.

A diehard Carolina Panthers supporter found a Super Bowl playbook from his beloved NFL franchise in bags earmarked for the dumpster. And that's not all he unearthed on his shopping adventure. Matt Rowell told NewsChannel 36 he found sensitive financial information from star players -- as well as former Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins' size 16 cleats.

Quarterback Jake Delhomme led the 2003 Panthers to an 11-5 regular-season record and a playoff run which ended with New England Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri's 41-yard game-winning field goal in Super Bowl 38.

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Tuesday night at 8 ET, Dan Rather Reports profiles Daniel Rodriguez on HDNet. Here, feature producer T. Sean Herbert tells Rodriguez's story in an exclusive preview for

The nights are torturous for Daniel Rodriguez. Body twitching, mind racing, he's transported back in time long after the battle has ended. Once again he's surrounded by gunfire, a rocket-propelled-grenade flying past his helmet. He relives the devastating moment his best friend dropped to the ground, as a single bullet took his life. He can feel, smell, hear everything, until he is torn from his sleep, covered in a cold sweat.

The 24-year-old former Army infantryman calls them night terrors. They are brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury from an RPG attack in Iraq. And there's only one way he knows to cope every day.

"I just translate that into the gym," he says, "and into the weight room. And I force and funnel it all through when I play football. It just comes out."

The next battle for Rodriguez is nothing like the two wars he's been through. But he's motivated just the same. Every day is a grueling ritual of lifting weights, doing hundreds of push-ups, dips, sit-ups, pull-ups, running sprints and routes -- all in the memory of the band of brothers he lost. All in the hope to fulfill a promise to do something extraordinary with the rest of his life.

When the night terrors are over, the day begins at 6 a.m. in a quiet northern Virginia suburb, when Rodriguez wakes to a wailing rooster blaring from his cell phone.

His objectives for the day read like a well-disciplined shopping list you'd see hanging on the refrigerator.

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It was Christmas Eve, and Michael and Elisabeth Mesko, along with their 3½-year-old son, Zoltan, were pressed against the floor in fear.

Standing or moving about their apartment would mean jeopardizing life. Standing would only put them in the line of fire of the Revolution that had begun in 1989 in the city of Timisoara, situated in western Romania located near the Serbian and Hungarian borders.

Only about 300 miles away in Bucharest, the Ceausescu Communist regime was being overthrown. Outside the Meskos' apartment building, protests and riots had broken out. The commotion and violence in the streets is paralyzing.

There was no way to get out. No way to get in.

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