NFL

Brandon Bolden reveals his struggles with a cancer diagnosis in 2018

Nov 7, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden (25) reacts in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots running back Brandon Bolden revealed his struggles with cancer in 2018. At the time, he was diagnosed with epidermoid carcinoma. It’s a form of skin cancer that develops inside the outer and middle layers of one’s skin.

Once he came out of surgery to treat his illness, Bolden briefly lost function in the right side of his face. He admitted to thinking that he wouldn’t play another down in the NFL. But despite the damage done to him, he opted to return to the league that season. Recently, Bolden spoke on how far he has come since then, taking heart to what he has accomplished since.

FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 28: New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden (25) during a game between the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans on November 28, 2021, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“It was just one of those moments where I was messing with my son and my little brother about this. I actually looked in the mirror and I was like, ‘I’ve got my full face back’ and that’s what made me go through the pictures and everything else. Just to show like I had cancer and I didn’t think I was going to play another down in the NFL and here I am three years, going on four years, after having the surgery and still working strong. It was kind of one of those inspirational type deals for me because that took a lot. It was a lot of naysay from doctors and everything else and then I am here to prove people wrong and grow and get stronger.”

Brandon Bolden

Bolden played in all 16 games for the Miami Dolphins in 2018 and has continued with his NFL career. He signed back with New England in the following year and remains a member of the Patriots today. Having spent eight of his nine years with the team, he has proven a valuable piece to the group. Bolden is going on four years as a cancer-free man and plans to keep striving in the interim.

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