Olympic medallist snowboarder Max Parrot has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Canada Snowboard made the announcement Thursday, saying the 24-year-old from Bromont, Que., was diagnosed Dec. 21 after undergoing a biopsy 10 days earlier. He will miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
The five-time X Games champion told a Montreal news conference that he’d originally asked his doctors if he could delay treatment until after the next edition of the games, which are set to begin Jan. 24.
But he quickly changed his mind after consulting with his doctors, he said.
“That will be my competition for the year,” Parrot said Thursday, referring to the 12 chemotherapy sessions he will undergo over the next six months.
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Parrot said he first began experiencing itchiness around the neck area in September, and consulted his doctors in November as soon as a bump formed.
“It has not been easy news to digest, both for my family and for myself,” he said of the diagnosis he received just before Christmas.
“But after a few weeks, I feel comfortable talking to you about it … I will remain as positive as possible in the coming months. Theoretically, if all goes well, I should finish chemo in June,” he said.
“But it’s scary, I won’t hide it from you.”
The slopestyle silver medallist at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games appeared calm as he appeared at the news conference alongside partner Alysson Gendron-Gallant and sports psychologist Jean-François Menard.
Parrot, who had his first chemotherapy session last Thursday, said he was feeling confident, noting that the disease was caught early and has a high rate of recovery.
“The morale is good and I’m going one day at a time,” he said.
“I spent a good holiday surrounded by family. I wanted that.”
Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It is a cancer of part of a person’s immune system and is most often seen in people aged 20 to 40.
Former Pittsburgh Penguins star Mario Lemieux was diagnosed with the disease in 1993 and returned to play later that season.