James Kearsley, who is from Tasmania, has beaten leukemia twice. He was first diagnosed in 2014, and he beat it by undergoing three rounds of chemotherapy.
The 23-year-old fell ill again, however, just 18 months later.
During his five months in remission, James started documenting his fitness story using Instagram.
After this first treatment—when he felt well enough—James decided to go to the gym to regain the almost 30 pounds he lost as a result of the chemotherapy. He filmed his efforts to get back in shape.
James has now been cancer free for over a year. He has a large following on social media—YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram—and he uses his reach to offer inspiration, coaching, and advice to the roughly 27,000 people who follow him using the sites.
James’ recovery required not only chemotherapy, but also bone marrow stem cell treatment. He made heartwarming and candid vlogs about his struggles to overcome the disease.
James said that his goal is to teach people how important it is to take care of their bodies mentally, physically—and most importantly, medically.
The inspirational bodybuilder also revealed the interesting tidbit that he did not start going to a gym until after college. Previously, he had played several sports to stay in shape. He is now working towards competing in bodybuilding shows once more.
James has described himself as the “tall, skinny kid” all throughout his time in school, and that is partially what motivated him to start. The rest, as he says, is history. His first bodybuilding show was in September of 2015, which was just 16 months after remission.
Sadly, however, just three months later he was diagnosed with leukemia for the second time. That’s when he had the stem cell therapy—as well as two more cycles of chemotherapy.
Now training again, James says that he is very grateful to his followers and supporters on social media. They helped him “push through” that chapter of his life, and they encourage him as well as motivate him to progress.
He says that—while it sounds a bit strange—he is grateful to have had the opportunity to document his journey during a difficult time in his life—as he knows it has helped people.
Leukemia, which can also be spelled leukaemia, is actually a type of cancer that generally begins in the body’s bone marrow; the unfortunate result is an abnormally high number of white blood cells that are considered abnormal. There are actually a few main types of leukemia—four.
Symptoms of the disease include bruising and bleeding problems (e.g., anemia), fever, an enlarged spleen and/or liver, as well as an increased risk of infection (e.g., infected tonsils), and tiredness.
Like James, those suffering from leukemia typically have to be treated with chemotherapy. Other treatments include bone marrow transplants and radiation therapy.
Watchful waiting can also be a management technique depending on the specific type of leukemia. There’s actually a type that does not benefit from any current treatment, so the goal is to suppress the disease, not eliminate it completely and totally.
Obviously, the success rate of treatments depends largely on the age of the person suffering from the leukemia as well as the specific type. In the US, the average 5-year survival rate is about 57 percent; in regard to children under the age of 15, the survival rate is actually greater than 60 percent (this depends, of course, on the type of leukemia). It may be as high as 85 percent.
We’re happy for James’ current state of good health, but sadly not everyone is so lucky. Back in 2015, it caused the deaths of over 300,000 people, and over 2 million people were afflicted with the condition. It actually develops more often in the so-called “developed world”, and it is the most common cancer in children. That said, roughly 90 percent of leukemias are diagnosed in adults.
There are a number of risk factors for leukemia, including smoking, expose to certain chemicals (benzene, for one) and previous chemotherapy. Genetic factors play a role, too; for example, leukemia is more common in those with Down syndrome. If you have a family history of leukemia, you are also at a higher risk for contracting the illness.
There are also viruses, such as HTLV-1, that have been linked to certain forms of leukemia.
We’re very happy for James’ recovery, and we hope he’s alive and well and documenting his journey for many years to come.
H/T – Source