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Josh Paschal earns weekly SEC award after beating cancer

A well-deserved honor for Paschal, who beat his disease to get back onto the football field.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

One of the best stories of college football this past week just got even better.

On Monday, Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Paschal was named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Paschal returned to the field for the first time this season after being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in July.

The sophomore was diagnosed with the malignant melanoma on the bottom of his right foot just before fall camp opened and endured three surgeries, followed by monthly immunotherapy treatments.

After a long battle and strenuous rehab, the Maryland native returned to practice recently and slowly worked his way back into game shape. His battle, for now, was won Saturday when he started at outside linebacker in the Wildcats’ 34-23 win over Middle Tennessee in the final home game of the season.

“It felt good just to wipe some dust off finally,” Pachal said after the game. “I loved it. Just to know everybody is supporting me and knows what I’ve been through. They’ve been supporting me the whole time and lifting my spirits up when I’m feeling down. It felt great.”

Way to go Josh!