Patriots running back Brandon Bolden revealed on social media on Thursday that he battled and beat cancer back in 2018. The 31-year-old was diagnosed with epidermoid carcinoma -- a form of skin cancer --following New England's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. Bolden underwent surgery and is now cancer-free, but did temporarily lose function of the right side of his face. Prior to him revealing his diagnosis on Thursday, Bolden hadn't spoken publicly about his battle.
"It changed my perspective about a lot. I thought I was doing everything to prevent stuff like that from happening and it happened," Bolden told reporters on Thursday, via the official team website. "I had surgery and that was kind of my reset. I was able to redo it and reprocess how I was doing everything in my life, and here we are like I said going on four years of being cancer-free."
"It took a lot," he said. "There was a lot of naysaying from doctors and everything else. [I'm] just here to prove people wrong and continue to grow and get stronger."
#Patriots running back Brandon Bolden revealed today that he had cancer surgery in 2018. He later told reporters there was a point he thought his career might be over. “I am here to prove people wrong and grow and get stronger,” he said. pic.twitter.com/y1Ze7NYmbp— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) December 30, 2021
Bolden said there was no specific reason for the timing of his post, but did recently reflect on his recovery.
"I was messing with my son and my little brother about this. I actually looked in the mirror and was like, 'I got my full face back,'" said Bolden. "That's what made me go through the pictures and everything else, just to show I had cancer and I did not think I was going to be able to play another down and here I am going on four years later after having surgery. I'm still working strong."
Bolden has spent the majority of his career with the Patriots and has won two Super Bowls with the franchise. Along with being a core special teams player, Bolden has a career-high 540 scrimmage yards this season entering Week 17.