COLORADO SPRINGS – During the 2019 USAFA graduation ceremony on Thursday, President Donald Trump took a moment to honor one graduate from the Academy who battled cancer into submission.
According to the Academy, 2nd Lt. Parker Hammond was diagnosed with testicular cancer during his junior year at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Hammond, who grew up in Colorado Springs, described the diagnosis and the following surgery as a “blur.”
After his operation, Hammond worked on recovery and reintegrating into his normal life.
However, his cancer did not go into remission and not long after the surgery, Hammond received the news that the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and had entered stage 3.
“After consulting with his family in July, he started a nine-week chemotherapy regimen called BEP for short but comprised of three main drugs: bleomycin, etoposide and platinum. The side effects left him fatigued, nauseous and sensitive to light.”
According to the academy, Hammond took the recovery day by day and credits his faith, family, squadron members, and friends as major encouraging factors, helping him through his recovery.
Last September, Hammond finally received the good news that his cancer had gone into remission, and months later, he was granted the “necessary waivers to commission.”
On Thursday, Hammond received personal honors from President Trump, going on stage and shaking his hand.
Hammond graduates as a commissioned second lieutenant and is set to become a munitions and missiles maintenance officer.
He hopes to go through medical school and encourages everyone to, “Check yourself… cancer is something we should feel comfortable talking about in the open.”
Cadet 1st Class Parker Hammond was in the best shape of his life. But cancer doesn’t discriminate. During his junior year, he found a lump and suddenly faced an uncertain future in the Air Force. It was possible he might graduate, but not commission.Parker shared his story with us, recording one second of every day that he battled his cancer diagnosis. Read his full story here: bit.ly/2W9mtRl
Posted by US Air Force Academy (Official) on Tuesday, May 28, 2019