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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 student fights skin cancer ó and wins

Falcon High School senior Cody Peel said when he first noticed the lump on the bicep muscle of his right arm last year, he thought it was just another bruise. As an active teenager and soccer player for FHSís varsity team, Peel said he has always had bumps and bruises.ìI went to the doctor; and, at first, they didnít know what it was,î Peel said. ìThey thought it was scar tissue built up. Later on, we found out it was a rare form of skin cancer.îPeel said he underwent two major operations to remove the abnormal cells. ìIt (the lump) went down to the muscle, and they had to take out all of the fat and skin from that area,î Peel said. Following the surgeries, Peel said he had another operation to place a skin graft over the area where they removed the lump.ìThose operations pretty much ate up my whole junior year,î Peel said. ìThe hardest part was getting through school because I had to go to the hospital two times a week after school to change the dressing on my wound.îAlthough he never had chemotherapy, Peel said his battle against cancer was tough, especially mentally. ìIt was more of a mental challenge than anything,î he said. ìI had a bunch of classes to study for during that time.îAt the beginning of December, Peel found out from his doctor that the operations were effective in dealing with the cancer. ìI had chest X-rays and an ultrasound, and we found out that I donít have cancer anymore,î he said.The doctors said there was nothing Peel could have done to prevent the cancer from forming, he said. ìChances are, I probably had it for a couple of years,î Peel said.Peel said he had a good season playing soccer this past fall. He said he plans to go to college next year to either Missouri State University or the University of Missouri. If possible, he would like to play soccer for the university he attends or on a club team in town.

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