Jonathan Long, Kidney Cancer and the Road Back

Strong has many forms. 

That’s one of the creeds APEMAN STRONG lives by. 

The truth is, unless you feel strong it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. 

“I have been strong most my life,” Jonathan Long said. “Played football. Served as a Machine Gunner in the United States Marine Corps. After that I became a cop. I've lifted and competed the whole way through. I love competition. I love the test of strength. Just you and the iron.”

Jonathan felt strong, and he was. However, it wasn’t until he was 29 when he would truly see how strong he was – both physically and mentally. 

“I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma,” he said. “That was about eight years ago. Never did I think that was the end for me. I knew that I would fight and overcome it. That’s exactly what I did.”

In fact, not only did he overcome it, he competed in his first Scottish Highland Games just 18 months after his surgery. 

“Eventually I got back into powerlifting and was set to compete in my first strongman competition a year and a half ago,” Jonathan said. “But on the job, I dislocated my shoulder taking down a suspect armed with a knife. I popped my shoulder back in on the scene and thought it would be a matter of time before I was back at it.”

Unfortunately, his shoulder just didn’t improve. An MRI would later show that Jonahtan had a hillsack fracture and both labrums were completely torn. 

That meant another surgery. It would only be a matter of time until he was back crushing iron.

Or so he thought. 

“The injury has not healed as they hoped,” he said. “My surgeon told me about five months ago that I would never compete again and I may have to retire from law enforcement. I was crushed. This scared me more than the cancer. I feared this more than death. If I can’t do what I love, if I can’t compete and provide… then who am I?”

Depression followed and he seemingly couldn’t pull himself out of this funk. That’s when he saw powerlifter Brian Shaw wearing an APEMAN STRONG shirt. 

“I researched APEMAN online and bought a POWERED BY RAGE shirt and mug,” he said. “But I also received an inspirational card that I was supposed to give to someone else who was struggling. While I did finally give it to a friend, that card slapped me out of my whining, depressed pansy mode. That doctor doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know what I'm made of. It got me out of my funk.”

Jonathan is more certain than ever that he’ll compete again.

He will overcome his obstacles. Again. 

“Thank you, APEMAN,” he said. “Thank you for what you do. I have never allowed myself to lose hope like that. I don’t know what happened, but it won’t happen again. 

“Thank you for giving me my balls back.”

Anytime, Jonathan. 

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