AMARILLO - A cancer survivor who has dedicated his life to helping other patients beat the disease traveled all the way from Germany to spread his message in Texas.
Randolph Westphal was 29 years old when he was given six to twelve months to live due to malignant melanoma, but now at the age of 55 he's lived far more than most.
"Statistics say 6 to 12 months to live. I was very depressed, I was 29 years old and I was sporty. I don't smoke, I don't drink and I got cancer," he said.
With more than 30,000 miles and 28 cancer surgeries behind him, Westphal is more alive than ever. Instead of waiting for death to finally come, Westphal decided to spend the life he has left doing what he loves; cycling around the world with his canine companions.
In a Canadian doctor's office, he found his purpose. "The doctor asked me, 'would you like to speak to cancer patients?' I said 'what can I tell them?' He said 'what you do?' I say 'I like to live.' And he says 'yes, tell them this.'"
Westphal has no cancer society or company backing his efforts. He just rides around on his bike and gives his advice to anyone who will listen. "When you believe in yourself, you can do a lot," he said. "I've got so many letters from all over the world, even from Australia and I was never in Australia."
The cancer has not gone away and Westphal says his doctors can't explain why he hasn't gone either, but to him the answer is simple. "I do what I like to do. So my immune system works much better, and when the immune system works much better, you have a chance to fight cancer," he said.
Westphal did take some of his doctor's advice and now travels with a vehicle in addition to his bike, adding the expense of gas to his travels.
He relies solely on donations for his adventures. The contact information for Westphal, as well as his current location, is on his website.