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CrossFit Carries Paramus Father Through Cancer Treatment

David Wilcomes, 66 of Paramus, says he couldn't have beat prostate cancer without support of athletes and coaches at Guerrilla Fitness. Photo Credit: Guerrilla Fitness
David Wilcomes isn't letting cancer hinder his progress. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Guerrilla Fitness Paramus owner Joe Ghaznavi guides Wilcomes during lunges. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
State Trooper Dana Wilcomes climbs a rope in Guerrilla Fitness Paramus. Photo Credit: Guerrilla Fitness Paramus

PARAMUS, N.J. — David Wilcomes of Paramus had every reason to miss a workout.

The 66-year-old was diagnosed with prostate cancer last summer. He had radiation treatments in West Nyack first thing each morning — Monday through Friday — from December through March.

And still, the thought of skipping the gym was one that never crossed his mind.

“I had the perfect excuse not to go,” said Wilcomes, a longtime runner and former high school principal. “But that wasn’t going to help me.”

Wilcomes’ cancer is in remission. The athlete attributes his health to his aggressive CrossFit workouts with Guerrilla Fitness.

He recently read that a new study by the American Cancer Society found that moderate to intense exercise may increase chances of surviving prostate cancer measurably.

"Men with the highest levels of exercise before their diagnosis were 30 percent less likely to die of their prostate cancer than those who exercised the least."

Wilcomes even participated in the five-week CrossFit open workouts along with his daughter, Dana Wilcomes, the top performing CrossFit athlete in New Jersey female law enforcement.

His workouts became part of his routines. He wore his gym clothes to treatment so that he could head right to Guerrilla Fitness once the appointment ended. 

That way, he had the rest of the day to himself.

But more than the exercise, Wilcomes says it’s the camaraderie from the athletes and coaches at Guerrilla Fitness that helped him see the light.

“It’s the people that really make it,” said Wilcomes, who once was accompanied by coaches Joe Ghaznavi and Deb Myers to his treatment.

“Instead of sitting at home and thinking about it you’re with other people who were very supportive and very concerned.”

Wilcomes admits the workouts did become a bit easier once he completed his treatments.

“And hey,” he said with a laugh. “If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

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