“My experience led me to become a Holistic Health Coach – focusing on nutrition as the path to better health and well-being”
Thrilling ups and downs, rapid turns and hard crashes are all part of life. Sometimes things take a smooth, predictable approach and other times you get caught in a tailspin from out of nowhere that slams you hard on the concrete. It’s not really about how hard you fall, but more about how quickly you are willing to get up and take another shot. Just ask Josh Perry…
Today Josh is a happy, healthy 27-year-old man with his whole life ahead of him. Six years ago, shortly after achieving a lifelong goal of becoming a professional BMX athlete, he received his first brain tumor diagnosis.
Josh had a meningioma, a benign tumor that caused intense headaches and significantly impaired vision. His tumor was successfully removed through an open craniotomy, an invasive surgical procedure that requires an opening of the skull. His recovery was slow but complete and within two months Josh was back on the BMX circuit. He felt he’d been given a second chance and took advantage of every opportunity to compete, travel, perform and give back to the community.
Two years later during his yearly check-up, an MRI showed two new tumors at the original cancer site. Josh felt his world grind to a halt for the second time. The optimism he’d built following his first diagnosis, surgery and recovery were squashed. Josh knew that there had to be an alternative to invasive brain surgery and after the harsh reality of a second diagnosis set in, he committed to finding another way. Following extensive Internet research and discussions with his surgeon, Josh learned about and decided on Gamma Knife® radiosurgery. With this non-invasive approach, beams of radiation are precisely delivered to specific areas of the brain without surgically entering the skull.
“The kind of SRS that I had is called Gamma Knife and it can be used treat areas deep areas of the brain or areas that are close to critical parts of the brain that control the spinal cord and our ability to see and hear.”
One week after Gamma Knife radiosurgery Josh was once again at the helm of his BMX bike. He reported the procedure to be painless and similar to getting an MRI, only shorter. In addition to continuing to compete on the BMX circuit, Josh is channeling his experiences and his newly earned certification as a holistic health coach towards broad-scale health awareness programs and campaigns.
As one of a handful of people to have survived three separate brain tumors, Josh believes it is his mission to help educate people with brain tumors about their options. Nearly 78,000 new cases of primary brain tumors (including cancerous and non-cancerous tumors) were diagnosed last year, and nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. alone are living with primary brain and central nervous system tumors.
Check out Josh’s blog Daily Brainstorms to read more about his story, see some cool BMX videos and read about his newfound love for sauerkraut and kombucha.
Tips from Josh: never take your life or health for granted
- Despite the challenges of my brain tumor experience, it taught me an invaluable lesson: Just because I am young and athletic doesn’t mean nothing bad can’t happen to me. Life and health are precious and you can’t take them for granted. This new mindset led me to think more and more about healthy living, and more specifically, healthy life choices, healthy nutrition and a positive mental attitude.
- In February 2014, I enrolled in the world’s largest nutrition program, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. A year later, I completed the program to earn a certification as a Holistic Health Coach, enabling me to help others achieve their goals to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing.
- I want to live the life I dreamed of while helping others to do the same and to become as healthy as possible. I also wanted to show others I’m no different than them – in the sense that we all possess the power to overcome adversity in our lives. I am living proof that anyone can achieve their goals when they put their minds to it, nourish their body and think positively.