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Showing that he's a survivor

May 21, 2011
  • Justin "J.J." Edson walks with friends Sara Garvey, left, Melinda Green and Haley Scott, right, during the Relay for Life at Newport Harbor High School on Saturday. Edson, 21, a cadet with the Newport Beach Police Department, has been undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with cancer in March.
Justin "J.J." Edson walks with friends Sara… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

For years Justin Edson has been participating in Newport Beach's Relay for Life cancer awareness and fundraising event.

The 21-year-old started going when he was with Newport Beach's police explorers program and continued when he became a cadet.

But two months ago, Edson's motivation for participating changed. On Saturday, Edson walked as a cancer survivor for the first time. In March, doctors found a lump in his chest above his heart. He was diagnosed with Seminoma, but doctors caught it early.

Since then, Edson's undergone several chemotherapy treatments and will find out soon if he's 100% cancer free.

But he said nothing would stop him from being out there Saturday.

"The only doubt I had was if I was going to be in a wheelchair or actually walk it," he said. "I'm going out there to do that lap. I support the 24-hour relay and all, but to me it came down to the main heart of it was the survivor lap. I'm there to show I'm a survivor. I think it's important to share and for people to have someone to talk to."

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—Joseph Serna

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