Cancer survivor conquers Base 2 Space

Johan Malkoski got cancer. Then he got to work.

SEATTLE - Johan Malkoski lives life at one speed: fast-forward.

"We snowboard year-round," Malkoski said.

But a few years ago, he pushed things a little too hard while biking with his son, Milo.

"[I was a] mid-forties-year-old man, in denial, trying to keep up with my teen kids," he said. "And I went over the bars and hurt myself."

A trip to the hospital for cracked ribs ended up saving his life.

"They said I had four broken ribs, a chipped scapula, and enlarged spleen," he said. "And then later [they] came back and said, 'You either have leukemia or myelofibrosis.'"

It was myelofibrosis, a cancer of the blood. Malkoski underwent grueling chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant to kill the disease.

"Man, the days were so long," he recalled.

And then he went snowboarding.

Last year, healthy at last, he set out to conquer the Seattle skyline and raise money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

"It's part of paying it back," Malkoski said.

In the first annual Base 2 Space stair climb last year, Johan raced to the top of the Space Needle. 

"I did 832 stairs," he said. "It wasn't bad."

Malkoski even took a victory lap around the tower's halo for good measure, tethered more than 500 feet above Seattle Center. This year, he'll be back again, and back to life at full speed.

Click here to donate to the fight against cancer by supporting Johan Malkoski's Base 2 Space team.

 

 

Evening is your guide to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.   Watch it weeknights at 7:30 on KING 5 TV or streaming live on KING5.com.  Connect with Evening via FacebookTwitterInstagram or email: eveningtips@king5.com.

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