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Josh Varnes was deployed in Iraq in 2004 when he began to feel ill. He dismissed his ailments as a product of his environment and the stress he was under and so he served out his term. Then, post-deployment, in February 2005, he finally went to see his doctor, though he did not expect any particularly impactful news. Diagnostic testing uncovered a tumor that was one third the width of his chest and to his astonishment, Josh was informed he had Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.
Before undergoing treatment, Josh discussed possible side effects with his doctors. A main concern for him and his wife was fertility. As a young married couple, Josh and his wife knew they wanted more children than the one they already were blessed with. After a grueling, nearly year-long experience during which he received many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, Josh was finally cancer free!
Soon after his treatments had ended, Josh heard about the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) through a coworker who was also a lymphoma survivor. Josh was already a triathlete and LRF's Research Ride held each fall in Montgomery County Maryland was a perfect blend of his desire to give back and his passion for exercise.
Knowing firsthand the importance of raising awareness and funds for lymphoma research, Josh is currently gearing up for the next Research Ride, which his wife and five children, including triplets born after his remission, will also attend! Josh and his family support the Lymphoma Research Foundation's mission to eradicate lymphoma and serve those touched by the disease saying, "LRF funds research that save lives--like mine. Join us in our mission to erase lymphoma!"