Inspirational skin cancer survivor:

Mr. T

Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the news, Rocky Balboa battles for his life, and a hulking Mohawk-wearing tough guy is emitting snappy one liners from your TV screen.  Is it 1982, with the premiere of Arnold’s “Conan the Barbarian,” “Rocky III,” and TV’s “The A Team?”

Nope. Flash forward to 2006 and quirky celebrity Mr. T has graduated from silly 80’s action to his own educational reality show, “I Pity the Fool.”

“T” credits much of his newfound desire to inspire from his battle with cancer, an exceedingly rare form of lymphoma known a mycosis fungoides (MF).  This condition occurs when cancerous immune cells lodge in the skin. Lymphomas can due to abnormal B or T cells.  Not to make light of his situation, but we find it ironic that Mr. “T” developed a lymphoma with cancerous “T” cells.

At first, MF looks like a rash and can be treated with potent anti-inflammatory creams. Mr. T’s case, systemic chemotherapy was necessary for remission.  Though it represents an ongoing struggle, the good news is that most of those with MF survive and live regular lives. With Mr. T as a role model, those with MF shouldn’t require any “Pity.”

Mr. T back in the day, when “bling” meant...well it didn’t mean anything back then, come to think of it.

Runners-up, inspirational skin cancer survivor:

Senator John McCain
Melanoma survivor

Bill Clinton
Basal cell skin cancer treated on his back

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