On August 3, 2018, a teary-eyed Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops took the air out of the room at UK Media Day when he announced that Josh Paschal had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma.
A little over a year later, the redshirt sophomore is officially cancer-free.
This afternoon, Paschal announced on his Twitter page that he underwent his final immunotherapy treatment for his melanoma.
“I’m excited to announce that today was my last immunotherapy treatment for melanoma!” he said. “I have a lot of people to thank. First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior for guiding me through this difficult time. My faith has only become stronger. I want to thank my family and girlfriend for being there every step of the way and never missing a treatment.
“I would like to thank my family and brothers from back home for continually supporting me. I want to thank the surgeons, doctors, and nurses at [the UK Markey Cancer Center] for taking good care of me. Lastly, to the athletic trainers, my teammates, my coaches, and everyone in the [Big Blue Nation], thank you for supporting me, praying for me, and getting me back to [100%]. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me next. See you this fall.”
Here was the announcement:
— Joshua Paschal (@JPaschalx) August 7, 2019
After three surgeries and continued monthly treatments, Paschal finally started his very first game of the season against Middle Tennessee in November. He was named SEC co-Defensive Player of the Week on November 19 following his season debut. The Wildcat defensive lineman was also named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
As a true freshman, Paschal played in all 13 games, including one start. He totaled 17 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, three QB hits, and one blocked kick on the year.