“This is not so much my story, but the story of my eldest son, Brock,” Philip Klahold said. “I know he would get upset if he knew I was sharing this with anyone, but he has an incredible story that needs to be told.”

Philip’s son, Brock, is currently 19-years-old and a freshman in college. His story, however, begins in the 7th grade. 

Brock has always loved football. But during his first season in middle school, he broke his ankle. 

“We all thought it was a simple break,” Philip said. “But it turned out to be much more. In Brock’s ankle, there was a bone fragment that never reattached with the casting and immobility. After a year of crutches, casts and boots he was sent to see a specialist at Hershey Medical Center.”

Unfortunately for Brock, he would need surgery to reattach the bone fragment and holes would have to be drilled into the bone to create blood flow in order for everything to heal properly. He worked his tail off over the next year to return to football. 

“As a freshman in high school, he became the starting long and short snapper,” Philip said. “That momentum continued in his sophomore year – he worked extremely hard in the weight room. He actually became one of the starting inside linebackers. He beat out a senior.”

Colleges were starting to take notice of Brock which lit a fire underneath him like never before. He wanted to increase his speed, his mass and reform his entire build. 

But his body would have other plans. 

“All of a sudden, Brock lost 40 pounds incredibly fast,” Philip said. “He ended up in the hospital where he was subsequently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. His inner strength never seemed to waiver after spending three days in the hospital, learning how to administer and track his sugar levels.”

Remarkably, Brock missed only one football game. He wasn’t the same physically, but he returned to his team and earned the respect of his entire school. Brock’s passion for football was still there even though his body took a 180-degree turn, and he was named a team captain his senior year. 

“His diabetes was always a battle, often struggling during games because of either highs or lows, but never giving up,” Philip said. “All of Brock's hard work payed off and he was recruited by a number of Division III colleges.”

The challenges were not over for Brock, though. Later in his senior season, he developed back pain but always fought through it. Everyone thought it was due to lack of flexibility from the weight loss he experienced during his trial with diabetes. 

“Again, Brock kept fighting and earned a spot as the starting long snapper for his college football team,” Philip said. “The back pain was always there and continued to get worse. About halfway through his freshman season, the pain became too intense and Brock had to be taken to the doctor yet again.”

This time, Brock ended up back on the operating table to have a microdiscectomy done to relieve the pain due to a herniated disc. 

“After that, after fighting so hard for so long, his heart was just not in the game anymore,” Philip remembers. “So after many long conversations and tears, Brock decided to walk away from the game that he loved and excelled at.”

But Brock continued to persevere. He asked his dad to help train him in powerlifting as a means to remedy the competition within himself that football no longer filled. 

“My son and I are embracing the APEMAN Strong way,” Philip said with passion. “To be strong in both mind and body – we can overcome any obstacle. I am very proud of my son for the young man he has become and the manner in which he fought through so much. 

“He is a true warrior.”

ScarsAdam Field