Since the moment he was born, Jared Wells of Utica, New York, has been fighting for his life.
Born with cystic fibrosis, a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung problems and limits the ability to breathe over time, Jared has always appeared thin and drawn. After a five-year battle with lung cancer, he lost so much body mass that his friends and family really thought they might lose him.
Thankfully, Jared wasn’t about to give up that easily. At just 21 years old, a little voice inside his head told him to fight harder than he had ever done before in order to get healthy.
“I had given up on life,” Jared wrote on Instagram. “I refused to do any of my treatments and medicine and said ‘it’s time to end this fight.’ Or so I thought. Something inside me said f**k that! We’re not done here we have so much more to do.”
After being released from the hospital, he was finally cleared to exercise earlier this spring. His best friend Vinny Donnelly brought him to Body Alive, a gym owned by his dad Bob Donnelly, and together the men came up with a plan to help Jared bulk up and regain control of the body he’d worked so hard to keep alive.
Just five days into training at Body Alive, Bob decided to share a few photos of Jared on the gym’s social media pages. He never could have predicted the overwhelming response the pictures received, with people commenting and cheering Jared on from all over the web.
This is my son's friend Jarod.Before I hear any wise cracks. Jared has been fighting lung cancer and we almost lost…
“We expected it to get the maybe 200 likes that the page usually gets, then all of a sudden it was getting thousands,” Bob said. “It’s kind of exciting, and it’s all been really positive.”
Spurred on by the public outpouring of support, Jared threw himself into eating right and working out. Within the space 56 days, he added several pounds of muscle to his formerly-emaciated 6′ frame.
Now he looks like a completely different person!
Not only are the many people who’ve been keeping tabs on Jared proud of his progress, but his own self-esteem has increased dramatically as well. He’s now committed to helping others fight their individual health battles and get healthy, too.
I’m gonna keep this short and simple. To those of you in the darkness right now. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like being stuck in your own head day after day. It’s exhausting but please continue your fight! I promise it will get better. It may not get better today or the day after but if you keep fighting and keep pushing you will find something that makes it all worth it!
Not only is Jared healthier than he has ever been, he also has new life goals to work towards. He hopes to one day become a professional bodybuilder! Knowing what a hard worker he is, we won’t be the least bit surprised when he accomplishes that mission.
Please share Jared’s story to encourage everyone to fight through the darkness and get healthy today.
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