Cancer survivor joins others racing for research - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Cancer survivor joins others racing for research

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Courtesy: Joshua Woolfolk Courtesy: Joshua Woolfolk

MADISON (WKOW) -- So many of us know someone who's had cancer.  Maybe it's even been you. 

The recovery process can be a lot, but Joshua Woolfolk isn't letting it slow him down.  He's only been in remission for a little over a year, but already he's taken on some big physical challenges, and he's gearing up for another one this weekend.  He'll be one of the many participating in UW Carbone Cancer Center's Race for Research. 

Coincidentally, it was running that led him to his cancer diagnosis.  "We had to run to catch a bus, and it was like 50 yards," recalled Woolfolk.  "I was out of breath.  I couldn't catch my breath." 

This happened after months of not feeling well, and he was only 23 years old. 

After Woolfolk went to the doctor and his testing was complete, his diagnosis was stage 3b Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  "Most things in our lives there's a script that you know the right way to react and the right things to say and do," said Woolfolk.  "I didn't really have the tools to react in a right way to this." 

Right away, he started aggressive chemo treatments.  "It was tough," Woolfolk said. 

After waiting more than a year for results from the doctor, summer 2016 was a good one.  Woolfolk got married and received the all clear from cancer.  "It was awesome," he said.  

Wanting to be around even more people and get back into shape after chemo, Woolfolk decided to get into cycling.  He joined a team, the Lymphomaniacs, where everyone has been affected by cancer in some way.   

"People with cancer need other people around them.  I know that it was the thing that made it bearable for me." 

After a year and a half he reached his cycling goal and then some.  Woolfolk did 175 miles in two days on the bike, while raising money for cancer research.  "So much that was done for me when I was in that position; that's what saved my life," said Woolfolk.  "It wouldn't be responsible for me to not do that for other people." 

Saturday, he will be raising money for cancer research once again, but he'll trade his bike for his two feet in Carbone's Race for Research.  It's his first 5K.  "Just another way to kind of marry two things that I really enjoy, being outside and being active and raising money for cancer research," he said. 

You can still register in person at 8:00 a.m. on Willow Drive in Madison Saturday.  Donations are also still open.  The race begins at 9:00 a.m.  Click here for more information. 

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