Titans CB Finnegan lifts spirits of girl who battled cancer

Cortland Finnegan is a Pro Bowl cornerback well known for his mischievous ways on the playing field. Off the field, Finnegan has a far softer side.

The Tennessee Titans star has formed a special bond with a high school girl who faced a medical crisis last year.

Kelsey Towns, a student and volleyball player at Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Tenn., had surgery to remove a large mass in her right thigh in June 2010. Towns believed the scary incident was behind her, only to find out during a follow-up visit to her doctor that she had a rare form of cancer.

"She was like, 'Actually, it's not what we expected. It's synovial sarcoma,' " Towns told WTVF-TV. "And obviously, I don't really know anything about cancer. Didn't know what chemo is. Didn't know what radiation was when I started. And so I was like, 'What's sarcoma?' I didn't know it meant cancer."

Finnegan and Titans teammate Ryan Mouton learned about Towns' fight and came to visit her during her recovery. Finnegan felt a bond with the young woman and later made a return visit to present her with an autographed jersey and tickets to every Titans home game.

"I got out of chemo on Friday morning, and I knew I had until Sunday morning to get better," said Towns, who plans to attend Western Kentucky this fall and study nursing. She has been in remission for six months.

So taken was Finnegan by the brave girl that he and his wife named their newborn daughter Kelsey.

"I thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world -- besides my wife," Finnegan said of Towns. "She lit my day up with her smile. And the rest is history."

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