UFC/WEC veteran Javier Vazquez opens up about cancer diagnosis in emotional, inspiring video

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Javier Vazquez, a big-show MMA vet who’s fought for the UFC and WEC, is a “pretty private person,” but he felt he owed his supporters a message of thanks.

As reported this past week, the 41-year-old was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, which prompted the creation of a GoFundMe page to raise money for his treatment and living expenses during a lengthy recovery process.

“To be honest guys, I was quite shocked at the amount of support and love – and my family was shocked,” he said in a 19-minute-long Facebook video in which he discusses his current battle and future plans. “It was just an amazing blessing that everybody has been supporting me – and the amount of love and support that everyone’s been showing me. I had to address people that went out of their way to donate to the fund, and it’s been a really, really amazing journey so far.”

As of this morning, the fund had surpassed its $35,000 goal and had crossed the $37,000 mark. Vazquez, who recently went through a divorce and stepped away from his gym (Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Rancho Cucamonga in California) as part of the process, currently is facing six months of chemotherapy – and likely years of treatment afterward. He said he’s not sure when he can teach again.

Javier Vazquez

Vazquez (16-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) hasn’t fought since a UFC-debut win over Joe Stevenson in 2011, which concluded his career – one that included an EliteXC stint and KOTC title – with a 3-1 run. During his 13-year pro run, the featherweight and lightweight fighter met the likes of Chad Mendes and L.C. Davis while picking up victories over Jens Pulver, Mackens Semerzier and Rob Emerson.

After his retirement and while traveling the country for his popular seminars, the Cuban-American and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt began experiencing abdominal pains, which eventually led to a cancer diagnosis and surgery, he said. Surgeons removed 12 polyps, four of which were cancerous.

The diagnosis was surprising to Vazquez, who said he’s “pretty much vegan” and leads a healthy and active lifestyle.

Unable to teach because of his recovery and divorce settlement, Vazquez said the outpouring of support from the GoFundMe drive has been a blessing.

“I felt like I had to say something because the support has been overwhelming,” he said. ” … Sometimes life’s biggest challenges, you can take them and crumble under them, or you can embrace them, learn from them and grow from them.

“So I’m trying to do that – trying to stay positive.”

Ultimately, he said, he simply wants to return to teaching.

“I can’t mention everybody, but know that I appreciate you guys all, and you guys have always known that – that my commitment has always been to the students,” he said. “My commitment has has always been to the friendships and the bonds that we’ve made as friends.”

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The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

GoFundMe launched for UFC/WEC veteran Javier Vazquez after colon cancer diagnosis

Former UFC and WEC fighter Javier Vazquez, 40, is in need of financial support after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

Vazquez (16-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) last competed in MMA in June 2011, earning a unanimous-decision win over “The Ultimate Fighter 2” winner Joe Stevenson. The UFC, WEC, EliteXC and King of the Cage veteran recently underwent surgery to have a tumor removed and is now facing a regimen of chemotherapy.

One of Vazquez’s, friends recently launched a GoFundMe page to help raise money for medical care, establishing a goal of $35,000.

The exact details of Vazquez’s situation were revealed in the GoFundMe description.

Professor Javier Vazquez was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. A stage 3 tumor was removed. He is extremely ill and experiencing a number of life obstacles on top of embarking on 6 months of chemotherapy.

Once his immune system is up for the task, he will go through 6 grueling months of chemo in CA. Funds will be needed immediately. These funds will not only help cover the expenses of his medical treatments, but also assist in any additional expenses as he has decided to step away from his Jiu-Jitsu academy to focus on his health and recent divorce battle.

We also ask for prayers for Professor Javier, his two kids, and his family in this trying time. Messages are welcome as well. Professor Javier’s current situation is very dire. Your donations are so greatly appreciated.

To donate to Vazquez’s cause, visit the GoFundMe page.

For more on the upcoming MMA schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie