Fitness Fights Cancer for Kids
Why this means so much to me...
Like many other people out there who have been diagnosed with cancer I remember the day, the hour, the very thing I was doing that moment I received the news that I had cancer. I wasn’t prepared for the news, no one is. May 8, 2018, the diagnosis: Stage 3B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. My name is Sam and I am still fighting this devastating disease.
For the previous 5 months I was experiencing odd changes in my body. My blood work showed irregularities that were not explainable, my organs were slowly shutting down one at a time, and my hormones were off balanced. All of these symptoms we were treating through nutrition and natural supplementation. But it was a pulled muscle in my neck that made me go to my general physician. I was sitting at a cafe on a beach in South America with my two best friends when I got the call back from my GP and, it looks as if that pulled muscle was not a pulled muscle at all. I was told I have nodules all over my glands, my thyroid, in my traps going up my neck, and possible on my brain. My doctor said, "you need to immediately see the oncologist when you return to the country." Upon returning home, I did just that and, in that time my cancer took off times 100. I lost over 35 pounds of lean body mass (bone and muscle), I had to take 2-3 naps a day just to make it back home at night, I couldn't stand for a 30 minutes training session with a client and, I almost lost my gym, and I was fully anemic. On top of fighting cancer I was fighting insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and lawyers because I was denied treatment 3 times. As a result of the delay, I moved up a stage of cancer.
As an adult it is the scariest thought that my life may now have an expiration date. Now imagine how a child feels getting the news they have been diagnosed with a deadly disease. The difference is that the children do it with a smile on their face and, they fight until their body can't physically take it. NO ONE SHOULD GO THROUGH THIS. Contrary to belief, children's cancer research is significantly underfunded, the educational information on nutrition is out of date, and most oncologists disregard fitness and mental health awareness as a means of improving ones quality of life during cancer treatment. This is why I started my non-profit Fitness Fights Cancer and now this GoFundMe as a personal challenge against cancer, to give these children hope. I am fighting this disease and, I have conquered the effects of my cancer and my harsh chemo regimen through my specifically designed "Cancer Protocol." To mark my journey of hope, I am going to compete in the NPC Max Muscle Body Building show on November 10, 2018. My goal is to raise $2100 in 21 days with the FitnessFightsCancer proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, CureSearch, Make-A-Wish America, and Fitness Fights Cancer to sponsor a local child who is battling cancer. I'm calling it "21 Days to Show Time - The Fight to Cure Children's Cancer." I want to give hope to these children who are fighting for their lives I want to help them believe that cancer cannot stop us nor can the label define us and that we can all prevail! We are a community and our mission is to empower, motivate, and give hope. This is my way of showing my support.
My name is Sam Juzbasich and WE ARE Fitness Fights Cancer...
We’ve all been touched by cancer – either personally, or by having a family member or friend who has contracted some form of the disease. All this became very personal for me in May of 2018 when I was diagnosed with Stage 3B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
I asked myself, how did this happen to me? I am a healthy 27 year bodybuilder and gym owner who has made a successful career teaching and coaching others to change their lives through health and fitness. Why did I get this cancer? Through many life lessons toward my own personal development, it is my purpose to take this "curse" of mine and use it for the greater good, to help others that are living the same fight as myself. The scientist in me wants to demonstrate that there are ways to combat the effects of not just the cancer, but chemo as well. There are other chronic diseases that make people feel helpless to combat – what if fitness can diminish their spread or curb their effects?
On one level, creating a non-profit stems from tracking my own personal journey from working with and studying some of the most successful doctors in the world in their respective fields On the other level it is to give that information to the world, to educate others with cancer who do know have the knowledge or resources I was fortunate to have, to show you can take back control of your life. Dr. Roselle from the Roselle Center of Healing has played a significant role in opening my eyes to a science beyond what we learned in our text books, beyond what doctors refer to as modern medicine, to the body to heal itself. I have taken information from all of these doctors and created my protocol for myself and soon to be for others.
We are a community of people, starting with my own family but spreading far beyond that now, has formed to support me and to see how they can help. Unfortunately there are many others out there who do not have that, and are alone in this fight. Together, we’ve committed to prove there is hope, there is something you CAN DO to combat the disease outside of chemotherapy – and to reproduce positive results in others who don’t have my knowledge of nutrition and fitness.
Who is @The.Chemo.Bodybuilder...
For those who don’t know me, I have been an athlete since I was 4, little league sports to college football at Slippery Rock University, and since then I have been dedicating my life to bodybuilding. My disease along with my chemo regime is one that eats muscle and bone as well as targeting many of my organs. At the time I felt like I lost everything; my body, my relationships, my career, my life. But what it didnt take was my spirit, my will to be relentless in everything I do in life. What better way to demonstrate that anyone can fight this disease than to apply what I already know about nutrition and fitness to myself? Now, if only there were a way to spotlight my progress...
That's when one night it hit me. To prove what I have been doing works, to show the world that cancer does not have to define you, that cancer does not have power over you, and that you CAN fight back...I will do what I know how to do best, compete.
It sounds ambitious, absolutely crazy, but really it was just what I was already doing, and I didn’t see why adding chemo to the mix had to derail my dreams. Now it is for real. What are you made of? Being a multi-sport athlete since I was 5 years old and playing college football, bodybuilding was by far the most physically and mentally demanding sport. Now add cancer and chemo to that equation. I initially lost 35 pounds of muscle to this cancer before chemotherapy started, 2 years of a countless hours in the gym, cooking, preparing meal, recovery and much more gone like that. That motivated me to take action, to get my life back, to not just survive but thrive. Through my protocol and drive to learn, I was able to redefine what the human body and mind are capable of. With the information and data I collected from different scans in my personal case study I saw with my own eyes that what I am doing works. I beat my cancer down 85% in the first half of my 6 month treatment regimen, I gained 20 pounds of muscle in the first 10 weeks, my bone density is in the 98th percentile for males my age, I increased my muscular strength by 35-70%.
I began to realize this can be done. Not to win the big trophy, this is much larger than that. With my purpose and mission of "21 Days to Show Time - The Fight to Cure Children's Cancer,' driving me, nothing can or will stop me. My heart goes out to the children fighting along side me, and I am doing it for them.
In my community of cancer patients / survivors, it’s the positive mental attitude that makes all the difference. I want to take all the drive that I’m applying to competing, and being in the best shape I can be, and show that IS something we can control. We can’t control the fact that we have cancer, we can’t control the random sicknesses we get, we cant control the "chemo-brain" effect, and much more. But what we can control how we take care of our body and the mindset that we need to fight this deadly disease and with our community it is my mission to give that power back to the individual fighting.
Each personal journey. I’m sharing my story to inspire others to tell their own.
I wasn’t always @The.chemo.bodybuilder , but I have embraced my new identity as one of service to others, to help change someones life for the positive.
Thank you for listening, together we can make a difference.