By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Dolphins Cancer Challenge will be held February 11th, and we at CBS 4 are proud to feature the stories of the participants leading up to the big ride.

When riders hit the road for the DCC next month, Mark Mason won’t be on a bike.

But that’s not stopping him from taking part in the big event.

“I’m not physically riding. I’m virtually riding. Trying to generate donations and awareness,” Mason said.

It’s a cause dear to his heart and his health.

Mason’s father died of cancer and Mark himself survived cancer, not once, but twice.

“I was diagnosed in July of 2014. I was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma,” he explained. “I was never prepared to hear that news. When my wife and I got that news, it was a kick in the gut. You think the worst. The absolute worst.”

Mason underwent radiation and chemotherapy for six months and went into remission the following January. But his healthy days were once again numbered.

“In February, I was diagnosed with a different cancer, colon cancer,” he said. “I went through an aggressive radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. I’m a year and a half out now from remission.”

Mason is a General Manager of Field Services Operations for Florida Power and Light Customer Service.

Around the time of his second diagnosis, his colleague, Robert Onsgard, was training to ride in the DCC.

“Mark Mason and I worked on the SmartGrid project for FPL before he was diagnosed. Our hearts all went out to him. It was the same time I was doing the ride. I dropped off the jersey at Mark’s desk and let him know we were thinking about him,” said Onsgard, a Manager of Strategic Projects with FPL.

Onsgard gave Mason a DCC jersey with the number 17 on it and a nice note that Mason says inspired him to take action.

“That prompted me this year to be a virtual rider. I’m back on my feet. I’m healthy,” he said.

Mason is raising donations as part of team FPL, which has a goal of contributing $125,000 this year to the DCC and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, where Mason was treated.

The jersey serves as a reminder of that goal and Mason’s brave cancer battles.

“There is hope. Especially when you get treatment from a facility like Sylvester,” he said. “Don’t give up. Fight the fight and never give up.”

CBS4 is a proud sponsor of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge.

Chief Meteorlogist Craig Setzer will ride the Hurricanes Hundred, a 100-mile course in honor of his mother, who battled and beat lung cancer.

Click here if you’d like to support Craig and help him reach his goal.


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