Tom Danielson undergoes amputation of finger in cancer fight

·2 min read

This article originally appeared on Velo News

Tom Danielson continues to recover from surgery following the amputation of his middle finger on his left hand earlier this month.

The former pro was diagnosed with cancer, and doctors decided to remove his finger. Doctors also reconstructed his left hand to bind his tendons and the bones from other fingers together so he can better adapt moving forward.

Danielson said doctors initially removed a tumor on the finger, and after discovering it was cancerous, decided to amputate.

“I had a tumor removed off my finger, which ended up being a rare kind of cancer that comes from the sweat gland in the finger. It is aggressive in that it keeps coming back if you don’t get rid of all of it, and it can spread to the lungs,” Danielson said in a recent podcast. “It was a bit of a wake up call for me.”

Danielson, 45, underwent the operation on May 8, and said he expects about a two-month recovery period.

Danielson has been tracking his progress in a series of social media posts and released a podcast chronicling his journey.

“I’m really happy about everything,” Danielson said. “I feel like this is a big step in the right direction. I still have to get scans and checked out. I am feeling really good, really strong. I have to stay on top of it.”

The Coloradan turned 45 in March, and raced from 2002 to 2015, with such teams as Mercury, Saturn, Fassa Bortolo, Discovery Channel, and the Slipstream/Garmin franchise.

A natural climber, Danielson won 11 races across his pro career, including a stage at the 2006 Vuelta a Espana, two titles at the Tour of Utah, and finished in top-10 in four grand tours, with sixth in the 2006 Vuelta and eighth in the 2011 Tour de France.

Since retiring, Danielson is working as a coach and motivator with his company, Cinch Cycling.

Danielson said he’s already been riding the stationary bike and he hopes his experience can help others.

“Honestly, the last month has been pretty challenging for me,” Danielson wrote. “It is one thing to run a business and a family, but it’s another thing to realize how big of a role you play in those two things and feel vulnerable. I have always been so focused on being a father and a business owner, but I have not thought once about how my health plays a role into it.”

Click here for a link to his latest podcast.

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