Cancer is a devastating disease that affects virtually everyone, whether directly or indirectly, at some point in their lives. Such was the case for a 35-year-old man from Brazil named Willy, who had developed Stage 4 undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
The prognosis for Willy wasn’t good, but he ultimately went to the CHIPSA hospital in Mexico, which provides alternative cancer treatments to patients. The hospital’s co-founder, Scott Nelson, also happens to be the owner of Lucky Gi and On the Mat, and he has close ties with the martial arts community. According to a blog post on On the Mat, Willy initially responded well to the treatment provided at CHIPSA. But he was only there for three weeks, and after returning to his home country of Brazil, his cancer aggressively returned.
At this point, multiple people stepped in to help get Willy the treatment he needed back in Mexico at CHIPSA. MMA fighters Anderson Silva and Fabricio Werdum both pledged to do what they could to help Willy win his battle against cancer, and their support helped raise the thousands of dollars needed for Willy to continue his treatment to shrink the tumors.
The On the Mat blog post says that Willy still has a long journey ahead of him, as does anyone trying to keep cancer from coming back, but thanks to the help of Silva, Werdum, and everyone who donated to get him the treatment from CHIPSA, Willy is currently on the winning side of his fight against cancer.
You can see some of Willy’s before-and-after photos below, but be warned that the images are graphic: