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Patriots running back Brandon Bolden revealed on social media Thursday that he fought and conquered cancer in 2018. The 31-year-old was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma – a form of skin cancer – as a result of New England’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. Bolden has had surgery and is now cancer free, but has temporarily lost function on the right side of his face. Before he revealed his diagnosis on Thursday, Bolden had not spoken publicly about his battle.
“It changed my perspective a lot. I thought I was doing everything to prevent things like this from happening and it happened,” Bolden told reporters on Thursday, via the team’s official website. “I had surgery and that was kind of my reset. I got to do it again and reprocess the way I did everything in my life, and here we are like I said four years cancer free. . “
Bolden signed with the Miami Dolphins the following year and continued to play while his face recovered. However, there were times when he felt like he wouldn’t play another game in the NFL.
“It took a long time,” he said. “There’s been a lot of criticism from the doctors and everything. [I’m] right here to prove people wrong and keep growing and getting stronger. “
Bolden said there was no specific reason for when for his post, but recently reflected on his recovery.
“I was joking with my son and my little brother about it. I actually looked at myself in the mirror and thought, ‘I got my full face back,’” Bolden said. “That’s what made me go through the pictures and everything, just to show that I had cancer and I didn’t think I was going to be able to downplay another one and here I am four years later after having had surgery. I’m still working hard. “
Bolden has spent most of his career with the Patriots and won two Super Bowls with the franchise. Aside from being a special teams baseman, Bolden has a career-high 540 scrimmage yards this season heading into Week 17.