Jan 17 (Reuters) - Olympic snowboarding slopestyle silver medallist Max Parrot of Canada said on Thursday he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and will sit out the 2018-19 season as he undergoes treatment.
Parrot, a five-times X Games champion who captured a silver medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, said he received his diagnosis a few days before Christmas and underwent his first chemotherapy session last week.
“For sure it’s scary. I’m scared because it’s a challenge that I have never faced before. It’s totally new to me. And just the word cancer is scary,” Parrot, 24, told a news conference in Montreal.
“But I am very grateful to have a great team around me. I have a great family, great friends and good vibes from them.”
Parrot said his symptoms first appeared last September when he noticed he was repeatedly scratching his skin. He noticed a bump on his neck in November before going to see his family doctor who sent him for a biopsy.
The Canadian said he has 11 chemotherapy sessions left, at a rate of every two weeks, and should be done in June. Parrot also said he will not be overly restricted when it comes to physical activity.
“The positive thing of this is the doctors told me I can stay active. Actually, the more that I stay active the better it is and the less tired I will get after treatments,” said Parrot.
“So I will do as much sports that I can, maybe not triple corks, but I am still going to be out there riding and having as much fun as I can.”
Hodgkin lymphoma is a relatively rare cancer, according to Lymphoma Canada. It accounts for around 0.5 percent of all cancers and 15 percent of all lymphomas diagnosed. Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto Editing by Toby Davis)