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Facing death, CNN sports legend embraces life

Happy hour starts in 5 minutes



I had no idea. Man this is sad. Good read, but sad


Nick Charles looks into the camera, as he's done thousands of times before. Except he's not calling a boxing match for sports fans around the world.

He's talking to an audience of one: his 5-year-old daughter, Giovanna.

Over the last 40 years, Charles has covered every major sporting event, from the Olympics to the Super Bowl to the Kentucky Derby. He's covered some of the most classic boxing matches -- when Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson, when Tyson bit Evander Holyfield's ear, when Roberto Duran quit and told Sugar Ray Leonard, "No mas."

Yet this is the toughest taping he'll ever deliver, a message from beyond the grave. For his little girl.

As Charles stares into the lens, he projects the essence of a fighter -- tough, rugged, still smiling despite the bruises of battle. His wife of 13 years, Cory, holds the camera.

Gone is his patented mop of black hair. Twice voted the sexiest sportscaster in America, Charles has undergone rounds of chemotherapy that darkened the circles under his eyes and "make me look like I'm halfway in the grave."

On August 4, 2009, Charles was told he had incurable bladder cancer. He was given four to six months to live if he opted for no treatment. With treatment, he could expect about 20 months.

"I want the biggest guns you can fire at me," he told the doctors.

He's into his 21st month now. Each day, each hour, each breath is a gift.

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