Heading into the Christmas holiday, Voice of America reporter Tara Hadavi found the perfect subject for an uplifting journalist profile—31-year-old ESPNLA.com writer Arash Markazi.

The Iranian-American sports reporter (pictured) has beaten cancer on two separate occasions, coming out of his arduous recoveries with a positive outlook on life. In the article and accompanying video piece, Markazi explains how he came to know about his condition:

“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.”

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