Negrense cancer survivor wins powerlifting gold

Ryan John Albay Bito-on, third from left, with his family after winning the gold medal.*

A Negrense cancer survivor won the gold medal in the 74KG Novice Category of the National Powerlifting Competition at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay Activity Center in Parañaque, Metro Manila, on Sunday, July 24.

Ryan John Albay Bito-on, 28, of Silay City is the son of lawyer Raul Bito-on and Gina Albay Binto-on.

He was diagnosed with stage 2 lymphoma in 2012 while a second year engineering student at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos and had to quit school to undergo chemotherapy.

Bito-on said cancer survivors at some point need to make a decision to do something else aside from just surviving. You just need to know what your passion is and pursue it so it will translate to better health, he said.

After being treated for cancer, Bito-on said he shifted to a less stressful course and graduated with a marketing degree from the University of Saint La Salle. He now runs their family’s fireworks business.

Bito-on said after chemotherapy he decided to invest in improving his health and went to a gym to do that.

That is when he met his old friend Gian Tan who eventually introduced him to powerlifting.

“Thoughts of being competitive did not cross my mind,” he said, but last year he joined a local powerlifting competition in Bacolod.

Bito-on said has been power lifting for two years and competed against people who have been at it for much longer during the National Powerlifting Competition.

His father, Raul, on his Facebook page, said he is an “ecstatic and extremely proud dad.”*

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