Earlier this year, Prof. Joshua Bacallao was given an amazing opportunity to lead Gracie Barra Kirkland. Shortly after returning to Seattle, and competing in a number of higher profile grappling events including the ADCC trials, Fight2Win, Shugyo Invitational, and GsubX, Joshua was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer - a leiomyosarcoma. This type of smooth muscle tumor only occurs in 1 in 5 million people.
Much of this may come as a shock as Joshua chose to be silent about the challenges ahead. However, anyone who knows Josh likely isn't surprised by his stoic demeanor. His 8.5-hour surgery (on Tuesday Oct. 2nd of this year) went "as planned." Dr. Jonathan Wright at UW Medical Center removed his bladder and rebuilt a new one with part of Joshua's small intestine. Dr. Wright's intent is to get him back to as near normal as possible. Fortunately, Prof. Joshua has an amazing attitude and has plans to return to the highest level of grappling, while helping all of his students be the best they can at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Even in a best case scenario, Prof. Joshua is looking at a number of months of rest and rehabilitation once he is released from UW Medical Center. Fortunately, Gracie Barra Kirkland has stepped up its support for Joshua and his family by providing full pay while he is recovering. Unfortunately, this isn't enough to handle the unforeseen costs that Joshua is facing, including non-reimbursed medical expenses, co-pays, rehabilitation, child care, home care and currently unknown future expenses. With this in mind it is our hope that enough money can be raised to help Joshua and family keep this as a temporary health setback and avoid any long-term worry about finances.