FORMER WORLD POWERLIFTING CHAMPION MARK WILCOX FOUGHT OFF COLON CANCER AND CROHNS DISEASE TO INSPIRE HIS DAUGHTER
Ana Alvez Beat Depression with Fitness
But in 2010, when his now adopted daughter, Charlotte, was just six-months old, Mark was diagnosed with aggressive colon cancer.
“It was in the center of my colon which meant that over 90% of my entire colon had to be removed,” Mark said. “Three weeks in the hospital with complications until I got home. While recovering at home within a month I developed extreme numbness and weakness of my entire right upper extremity. An MRI showed I had severe spinal stenosis at multiple levels requiring urgent neurosurgery to relieve the compression of the nerves.
Erik Plate Lost His Father at 14 and His Mother 9 Years Later
“In 2016 my world came to a halt,” she said. “Not only did my dad fracture his neck in a car accident and nearly died in the VA hospital from a stage 4 bedsore, my brother passed away from cancer.”
Ana struggled on a day-to-day basis trying to be a pillar of strength for her family. On most days, she succeeded. But as we all know, that’s infinitely easier said than done.
“I went into a rage,” Erik said. “I destroyed a door and put my fist through the wall with all of the anger directed at my stepfather since he was indirectly the cause of all of this. I still have the scars on my right hand from putting my fist through a wooden door and ripping it off its hinges. I spent the next three years living in a stupor. I lived off an inheritance, ate so much that I ballooned to 325 pounds, and became very antisocial while playing video games for 12 hours a day and becoming more and more suicidal with each passing day.”
“By about 5 a.m. it was apparent we needed to get to the hospital,” John added. “The events of that morning are a blur, but as I was hurriedly getting dressed, my wife made one specific request.”
She asked John if he could wear his APEMAN shirt because it would inspire her to be strong through whatever was about to unfold.
“When I discovered APEMAN, everything changed,” he said. “The psychology of APEMAN changed my life completely. We are not all built the same, but we all bleed red.”
Tylor says the kindness, the determination and drive of being APEMAN STRONG has been the driving force behind continuing to move forward.
“To me, APEMAN STRONG means not giving up no matter what the odds are,” he said. “It means supporting those who fight the good fight.