November is the month of Movember where men shave their beards and grow a moustache to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. “The impact of prostate and testicular cancer on lives is substantial, with prostate cancer being the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the number of cases expected to almost double to 1.7 million cases by 2030” -Movember Foundation
N’kosi Campbell is your average male who was affected by the BIG C but it wasn’t prostate or testicular cancer. It was breast cancer the last thing he could have ever thought was possible.
He was 35 years old and in the best shape of his life. Coaching at Crossfit Stallings, Crossfit Kernersville and training as a competitive Crossfit Athlete at Crossfit Greensboro, N’kosi had a goal to make it to Regionals 2014 with his team until things took a turn for the worse. The feeling of being tired came often due to his intense training but this time it was different. I could tell you what he went through but I’ll let him tell you.
Here is his story...
After I saw this, I did not want to just share it on Facebook and hoped that people actually took the time to watch it and share it. I wanted to make sure people watch this. I contacted N’Kosi through his friend, Sarah Bleich who was kind enough to share his story with me. He was more than willing to help me spread awareness to our community that this does happen to ordinary people including men who are active and healthy.
I spoke with N’Kosi about his story and personally hearing him relive his struggle was surreal. I kept thinking it could happen to me, which is the last thing on any healthy athlete’s mind. When the doctor first told him he had breast he thought it was a joke. I also posed a few questions that weren’t covered in the video:
WOD NATION: How long have you been doing CrossFit?
N’KOSI: About 3 years
WOD NATION: With that being said how hard was it for you to not train while you were going through chemo?
N’KOSI: haha actually I didn’t stop. I was still training… obviously, not at an intense level but still making sure I was getting a workout in. My strength was still there most days but if I did about 20 wall balls I had nothing left in the tank.
WOD NATION: That’s pretty amazing that you didn’t skip a beat with your training, did your team make it Regionals 2014?
N’KOSI: Yes, I competed while having cancer and we finished 4th. One spot away from making it to the games! We also made it to this year's Regionals.
WOD NATION: Wow...very cool. What are your goals this year?
N'KOSI: Do good in the open, make it to Regionals 2016 and possibly the games!
What I also found out about that N’Kosi probably wouldn’t say is that he is very modest. He didn’t tell anyone he had cancer until his 4th round of chemo. I was shocked! But I understood where he was coming from. He didn’t want anyone to have to worry or feel bad for him - especially, his two children and his father who also had cancer at the time. Ultimately N’Kosi's kids did find out, but through a poster they saw with his picture on it raising awareness for breast cancer.
Needless to say, CrossFit was his motivator that helped him through to recovery. He inspired me to share his story so that men, especially athletic men, are more aware that cancer is unbiased and feel no shame in having regular checkups. ( . )( . ) This is a matter that we can detect early on like N’Kosi did. He is a breast cancer survivor. So, let’s help him and many others spread the word about Earlier.org and help save lives.
This is a guest post from Linda Hong, CF-L1 Certified and WOD Nation Team Leader. You can always expect to hear back from Linda about any inquires on WOD Nation gear. She is usually traveling around the globe so catch her if you can! For more Linda, you can follow her on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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