With dad battling cancer, Hayden’s Dylan Zimmerman aims for a Parade of Champions showing for both of them | CraigDailyPress.com

With dad battling cancer, Hayden’s Dylan Zimmerman aims for a Parade of Champions showing for both of them

Dylan Zimmerman of Hayden gets a fist bump from his dad Mark Zimmerman after he won his 132-pound Class 2A match during the CHSAA State Wrestling tournament at Pepsi Center in Denver on Feb. 20, 2020.
Seth McConnell/Special to the Denver Post

For Dylan Zimmerman, it’d be special enough to advance in his Class 2A 132-pound bracket to the coveted “Parade of Champions” that introduces the finalists Saturday night at the Pepsi Center.

But to walk in under the lights beside his dad and coach, Mark, who has been battling cancer for over three years? That’s what the Hayden sophomore is truly grinding for, as wrestling has served as both inspiration and distraction for the family amid Mark’s battle.

Mark was originally diagnosed with throat cancer in January 2017, and the cancer spread over the last year. The 52-year-old went through 55 rounds of radiation and three rounds of chemotherapy in 2019, causing him to lose over 50 pounds.

“It was tough to see him like that because he’s always been my big, strong dad,” Dylan said. “But it brought us all closer as a family, it made us strong, it made me stronger as a young man. We knew we had to help him and support him and lift him up. So to get him into the Parade of Champions — that would be so amazing to have him with me.”

Read the full story at The Denver Post.

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