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Four-Time Cancer Survivor Sets Sights On Ironman Texas

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Triathlete doesn’t let depleted lung capacity, missing fibula, interfere with training.

Mike Thompson’s lungs pump at 40 percent capacity, and he has no fibula in his left leg because doctors removed it to rebuild his jawbone not exactly the makings of a typical endurance athlete.

Those challenges won’t stop Iron Mikey, as his friends call him, from competing in the Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas on May 21.

“For me, it’s pretty much to show cancer who’s boss,” Thompson,25, says of his Ironman quest. “I was told I wouldn’t live past 18, that the chances of me surviving cancer again and again and again were slim.”

Thompson was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 1996, when he was 10. He remembers thinking, “Does that mean I’m not going to live very long?”

He started chemotherapy within a week of his diagnosis. The treatment caused complications, and he developed a nasal infection that required more than 20 surgeries.

Read More: The American-Statesman