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Having already notched seven NASCAR Cup Series championships, this front-running driver has opened up about his recent encounter with cancer and how that will impact his career.
In an interview with the Associated Press, NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson spoke at length about a recent surgery to remove a slow-growing type of skin cancer from his right shoulder.
The entire NASCAR community was in shock after learning via Johnson’s Twitter account that he was in the operation room having a basal-cell carcinoma cut out of his shoulder. Many feared he would not be returning to the track after this.
“I could vividly remember a lot of sunburns,” Johnson tells the AP. “That sun exposure on a mole, there’s just consequences.”
“Carcinoma doesn’t spread. It doesn’t go to the glands,” Johnson continued. “They just have to dig it out and you’re good to go. Once I understood that, my reaction to the ‘C’ word calmed down.”
Doctors had informed Johnson that he could wait until after the season was over to have the surgery, but he wasn’t comfortable waiting that long. Because he wanted to advance the timeline, Johnson says that planning it was tricky due to recovery requirements. These recovery requirements were so stringent, he would normally have needed to withdraw from racing for a period of time.
Luckily, he found the perfect time after the Dover race and had already set up the procedure with his doctor in New York for this past Monday (June 6th).
With 22 stitches and four hours of his time, doctors cleared him for release from the surgical center and conducted additional lab work to ensure he was cancer-free.
Using his Twitter account and 2.4 million followers, Johnson took the opportunity to educate more people about the dangers of skin cancer and says that he hopes “parents putting sunblock on their kids more now”.
We are happy to hear he will make a full recovery and that he has been cleared of cancer following the surgery.
Watch the recap of his performance during last weekend’s race in the video below and let us know how you think he will do during Pocono in the comments.
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