Lymphoma diagnosis doesn't slow down local man - WSMV News 4

Lymphoma diagnosis doesn't slow down local man

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Justin Paschal Justin Paschal

A local man has turned his cancer diagnosis into an opportunity to help others facing a similar fight.

At 27, Justin Paschal has seen the world. He loves adventures, whether he's traveling or relaxing on a lake.

"I enjoy kayak, golf," Paschal said. "Everything outdoors I really enjoy."

Several months ago, Paschal was forced to put his adventures on hold when he found out he had Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"I knew something was wrong," he said. "I was healthy, I wasn't sick a day, I didn't feel bad at all. I didn't know what to think. When he told me it was lymphoma, I didn't want to hear. I'm 27, I didn't think it was possible."

Dr. Jesus Berdeja of Tennessee Oncology is Paschal's doctor.

"The devastating thing about Hodgkin's lymphoma is it affects people in the prime of their life," Berdeja said. "You're a person with your whole life ahead of you and you're told you have cancer."

Before Paschal's chemotherapy treatment, he was nominated for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year program. The program was a challenge to raise money for blood cancer research, with every dollar raised counting as one vote.

With the help of his friends and family, Paschal hosted a 5K and poker run with a goal of raising $25,000.

"We ended up raising $153,000 in a few weeks," Paschal said. "Set a new Tennessee record."

Now, Paschal is feeling much better and plans to continue fundraising for a cause that is deeply personal.

"I feel better than I've ever felt, I really do," he said. "I got my last treatment on June 11. On July 9 I was told I'm cancer free."

Not only is he feeling great, but Paschal was just recognized for all his hard work and named Man of the Year by the Nashville chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

For more information on Hodgkin's lymphoma, click here.

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