News / USA

Journalist Overcomes Cancer to Realize Dream

Tala Hadavi

Landing a job as a sports journalist is extremely competitive in the United States. It is often perceived as a glamorous life - just hanging out with, and interviewing, athletes and coaches. But for one sports journalist - who has spent more than 10 years working in the field - it is less about the glamorous life than about just being able to do what he loves.

Sports lovers follow their teams intensely, and dream of meeting their favorite players. For most it remains only a dream. But Iranian American Arash Markazi, 31, has fulfilled his dream, working as a sports writer for the prestigious sports television network, ESPN.

"I love writing. I always loved to write. And when I was younger I loved to play sports too and then obviously at a certain point of time I realized I wasn't going to be much taller than 5'6" (1.7 meters). And then I realized I wasn't going to play sports, I could write about sports," said Markazi.

But the road has been bumpy for Markazi. More than 10 years ago, while working for his college newspaper, he was given the worst news possible.

"I had done a story about a basketball player that had Hodgkin's. I didn't even know what it was. I had to do research. The parents were crying and I said, 'this is exactly why I got into sports journalism so I wouldn't have to cover stories like this.' I didn't want to talk about kids getting cancer or anything like that. And then lo and behold, like a year later I get the same kind of cancer," Markazi recalled.

Cancer did not deter him. After a strong recovery, Markazi landed his dream job with Sports Illustrated magazine in New York City. Then, his cancer came back. He spent his recovery time making plans.

"When I was in the hospital I made a list of the games I wanted to go to and the events that I wanted to cover because I couldn't just think about my current situation," Markazi added.

And he did just that. Now, he has checked off all the events on his list. When he is not traveling the world, he covers the local teams in Los Angeles. But at this point in his career and after recovering from cancer twice, he looks at his job from a different perspective.

"I remember when I was younger I would cry when my team lost. But now, it really doesn't matter to me who wins the game. I just want a good story. When I'm at a game I'm rooting for the guy who never played to get in the game and to write about him," Markazi explained.

As much as Markazi enjoys his job and the friends he has made, cancer has put things in perspective for him. After two grueling recoveries, he says he lives with a constant reminder of how precious life is.

"It made me appreciate life a lot more. I think the one thing when people meet me, they say 'You are really happy. Why are you always so happy?' And I say, 'Because I woke up this morning. And I'm living and I'm breathing and I'm talking to you right now.' It's odd for someone in their 20s to be happy because they woke up in the morning and they're alive," Markazi said.

Being courageous enough to pursue a passion, strong enough to fight cancer twice, and just happy about breathing may be odd for a man so young. But Arash Markazi's humble outlook on life and contagious smile are exactly what has helped him overcome life's challenges.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs