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Stuart Scott accepts Jimmy V Award at ESPYs

By April Bethea
abethea@charlotteobserver.com

(Mobile users can watch the video by clicking here.

Longtime ESPN SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott was presented with The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at Wednesday's ESPY awards for his courage and determination while battling cancer.

Scott was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer in 2007, undergoing multiple surgeries, chemotherapy sessions and other treatments while still appearing in the high-profile job at the sports network.

Stuart said while "I'm still here, I'm fighting, I'm not losing" cancer, he came to another realization recently. "when you die it does not mean that you lose to cancer," Scott said. "You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live."

The Jimmy V award is named for the late Jimmy Valvano, legendary N.C. State men's basketball coach and an ESPN commentator. He also founded The V Foundation for Cancer Research in 1993 with the sports network, the effort announced just weeks before Valvano's death from cancer.

Past recipients of the perseverance award included former N.C. State women's basketball coach Kay Yow, who died in 2009 after a fight with breast cancer, and former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed after a hard hit during a game.

Scott said he initially didn't think he belonged in the same group as past honorees. But then he says he remembered Valvano's memorable 1993 speech in which he urged people to "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."

"Those great people didn't give up, Coach Valvano didn't," said Scott, a UNC alum. "So to be honored with this I now have a responsibility to also not ever give up."

Scott said the fight remains difficult. He told the audience he'd recently spent seven days in the hospital with liver complications and kidney failure, underwent four surgeries. Scott said he wasn't sure whether he'd be able to make it to the ESPYs, but credited the support of family, friends, doctors, nurses, colleagues and others for helping him in tough times.

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