Aha moment: “I realized people never see you when you’re sick. Either you’re very, very sick or have transitioned out of the hospital looking healthy. So when I was sick I’d just sit in my room talking into the camera. Other days I’d strap on an IV and go out, and talk to people. I really wanted to educate them—and I had an audience that was listening.”
Unimaginable hurdle: In 2015, he got so sick from a series of ailments and infections stemming from leg wounds that doctors were almost certain he was at his end. “I was in such bad shape that my siblings were called home to say goodbye.” When he finally recovered from the worst, he had to spend months learning to walk again.
How he survived: “When I was younger, people would say I’d never make it to 30, so I decided I had one of two choices—to fall apart or get it together and decide I’m going to live. With my sister, mom, dad, and brother, I’ve made it through. I’ve had a whole team helping me fight to live.”
His dream: “My greatest hope is to have more treatment options for the next generation and a proper means of educating themselves. I want them to grow up and not hear, ‘You won’t make it to 30.’”