In my teenage years, I had a dream, that dream was to beat all odds against me and become a Major League baseball superstar. During my baseball career, I achieved a lot in a relatively short period of time. At the age of 13, I began playing for an Elite Canadian baseball team, the Ontario Blue Jays, where I travelled North America, playing against all of the best teams. During an intensive five year period, I had the opportunity to represent the 17 U Ontario provincial team in the Canada Cup and was chosen to play on Team Canada 18 U. Also, my own team won the Regional Championship to qualify for the 18 U Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, New Mexico. In 2010, we represented our region and Canada to participate in the famous World Series tournament, with roughly 5,000 fans in attendance.
While I am proud of my baseball successes, it has not been without adversity. At the age of 13, I was diagnosed with stage 4b Hodgkins Lymphoma. For six months, I underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Sick Kids. Today I am blessed to remain cancer free. But during my treatments I developed a blood clot in my right arm from the pick line, so I had to take blood thinners throughout my treatment until the clot cleared. The day after I finished treatments and had my pick line removed, I returned to baseball. Unfortunately, two years later, the blood clot returned. No one is sure why, but the doctors suspect the previous clot in addition to the repetitive throwing motion aggravated it. This time the clot was worse because it damaged the vein. At the time, the doctors recommended I quit playing ball. For a time, I tried learning to throw with my left hand so I wouldn’t have to give up the sport. Then I went to see a specialist in Texas who said it would be okay to continue playing. I moved from my position as catcher play in the outfield and continued to play for another two years and received a baseball scholarship to Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana. During my short time at Bossier, I suffered another setback. I tore the ligament in my elbow and had to return home for Tommy John surgery.
The surgery was successful and my elbow has grown stronger again, but unfortunately the throwing program for rehab aggravated the blood flow in my arm and I worried that the clot may return. Recently, I had to make the very difficult decision of giving up baseball due to health concerns. In doing so, I gave up another baseball scholarship to Connors State College in Oklahoma. But I also had to let go of my lifelong dream.
Currently, I am attending York University completing my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology. While giving up baseball was not an easy decision, I have decided to focus my future endeavors on helping others achieve optimal health and well being, and guide them to follow their dreams. Recently, I became a certified Personal Trainer. Today I am training baseball players from the same Elite program I played in, the Ontario Blue Jays, as well as other athletes and individuals.
This journey has forced me to grow up, and has opened my eyes to a life of possibilities. Although things have never been easy for me, I would not change a thing. It is this journey that has brought me to a much greater opportunity than ever before. As the great Jackie Robinson once said, "A life is not important except in the impact it has on others' lives." I feel it is now my duty to help others. To help them realize their dreams, and open their eyes to many possibilities that seem impossible.