Many thought Magic Johnson's basketball career, as well as his life, was over when he announced he was HIV positive in 1991. But he returned to basketball in 1992 and 1996 before retiring permanently. Despite having HIV, Johnson amazingly remains healthy.
Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer on Oct. 2, 1996. It had already spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. He underwent chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumors in his brain. He finished his cancer treatments in 1998 and went on to win the Tour de France an unprecedented seven times from 1999-2006.
Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West was lucky enough to walk away from a severe car crash in the early morning hours of Oct. 22, 2002. The crash occurred at about 3 a.m. West was said to be driving home after a recording session. He fractured his jaw, which had to be wired shut for six weeks.
Former 90210 star and race car driver Jason Priestley has had a number of near-death experiences. In 1999, while under the influence of alcohol, he totaled a Porsche in a Hollywood crash that broke a friend's arm. In April 2002, he crashed a powerboat during a Miami race, leaving one of his crew members with cracked ribs. Finally, in August 2002, he survived a serious pre-race car crash at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., and was hospitalized with a fractured spine, a concussion, a broken nose, and fractured feet.
Actor Jackie Chan has suffered a number of stunt injuries during while filming his action-packed movies and has broken his nose three times, his ankle once, most of the fingers in his hand, both cheekbones and his skull. He came closest to death filming Armour of God in 1996. During this film, he fell out of a tree and fractured his skull. He was left with a permanent hole in his head.
Actor and comedian Martin Lawrence went into a three-day coma in August 1999 after collapsing from heat exhaustion while jogging in 100-degree heat with several layers of heavy clothing. He was said to be trying to slim down for a movie role. He recovered from near-death experience during which he had a seemingly impossible body temperature of 107 degrees.
50 Cent was the highest paid rapper in 2007, but before that the self-proclaimed former crack dealer was shot 9 times in front of his grandparents in South Jamaica, Queens, N.Y. home. He made a full recovery from the May 24, 2000 shooting, during which he sustained bullet wounds to his hand, arm, hip, both legs, chest, and left cheek.
Death came knocking at these celebrities doors, but they didn't answer.