Wrestling the Bout of His Life

Adam Frey lived the normal life of a college wrestler. He worked out like a madman, worried about making weight, set a goal to win a national championship, and when that didn’t happen, he cheered on his teammate who did. Of course, life had a different plan for Adam, the 141 lb. wrestler for Cornell University. A few days after wrestling at the NCAA Championships, Adam survived a terrible car accident just to find out that he had cancer.

Too cute to be cancer-iffic!

Wrestling is my favorite sport, and one of the reasons I love it is that the athletes are so tough. They do buddy carries up and down stadium steps, they fight through bloody noses and shredded ligaments, they proudly sport cauliflower ear. They make no excuses. They are always looking forward to their next opponent, but it’s safe for them to assume that their next opponent will be another wrestler, not cancer. At 22 years old, Adam Frey was not expecting his doctor to tell him that he had a similar strain of cancer as Lance Armstrong. However, he is not asking what most people would get after a cancer diagnosis. As Adam wrote so eloquently in his blog:

At times I do look and wonder why me? Why did I get some disease that I have taken every method through healthy living to prevent? My only logical response is that the good Lord is using me to reach out to more people than I could have before. I like thinking that this gives me a purpose, and with more pondering and thinking it is becoming more clear. I hope to bring a breathe of fresh air, an inspiration, a motivation, and maybe even the lift someone may need who is doubting their own strength in this battle. I never had walked into a more bright and sunny building that had, juxtaposed, such a feeling of dread than the cancer center. Maybe I can help lighten that up a little bit.

Adam is facing a six-month course of chemotherapy. He is already starting to lose his hair, will start to lose his appetite-which is truly bizarre, because wrestlers can eat more than any human beings I have ever met-and he is receiving shots to boost his white blood cells. The shots cause him extreme pain, but Adam continues to face his obstacles with humor. Click here to read his hilarious account of his trip to the sperm bank-escorted by his mother.

Over the course of the past season, Adam had trouble making weight. In fact, he didn’t make weight on a few occasions. This was shocking to most of the wrestling community, because D-I wrestlers generally have learned how to manage their weight. In finding the tumors, all of the questions about Adam’s weight were answered. It wasn’t a lack of discipline, or commitment – it was a freakin’ ten pound tumor:

The other thing that is amazing is how large my tumor actually was. It is about 10-12 pounds which means this year instead of making 141, I was making 129-131 and sometimes wrestling 149. I guess the mystery of why it was so hard for me to make weight was finally revealed. I was carrying an extra 1.5 weight classes in my gut, literally.

The thing that amazes me the most about Adam is his determination not only to beat cancer, but to keep a normal life. He goes out with his friends, lifts weights on a daily basis, and is doing all that he can to make sure that his body will be ready for wrestling after he has rid his body of this disease.

To continue to follow his truly inspiring story, bookmark Adam Frey’s blog and read it every day. You can also buy a shirt or make a donation to help Adam and his family with the medical expenses.

Photo credits: Cornell University, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

8 thoughts on “Wrestling the Bout of His Life

  1. I hope nothing but the best for this guy. Cancer sucks, whether the victim is hot or not.
    Why did I get some disease that I have taken every method through healthy living to prevent? My only logical response is that the good Lord is using me to reach out to more people than I could have before.

    This shit kills me. Some God. What a great guy!


  2. In the little I’ve read about the wrestling community, I’ve learned they are truly like family to each other. (check out Chuck Palahniuk’s book “Stranger than Fiction: True Stories”) You can see this is accurate when reading Adam’s blog. Thanks for bringing us the story.

  3. Yeah, Cinnamon, one of the things I love most about wrestling is the family aspect. NCAAs are like a family reunion every year. It’s great to see how everyone has rallied around Adam.

  4. Bless his heart. I hope he makes it through this – he sounds like he’s got a good outlook in spite of all the horror.

    Incidentally, as the wife of a former D-III 125-er, wrestlers do eat more than any people alive on the planet. My husband is 5’3″ of pure eating power, even 6 years after his career ended. I would KILL for 1/10 of his metabolic power…

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