The story.

Ben Laekas was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2016. Since then he’s undergone hospitalizations, been bedridden from chemotherapy treatments and completed high-dose radiation treatments.

Laekas has had several major surgeries, one to have a softball-size tumor removed from his body, only for another tumor to return just above that same spot.

How’s he doing now?

More radiation treatments await, and so do possible surgeries. But one thing Laekas has scheduled for sure is his regular CrossFit class.

“Going to CrossFit doesn’t provide an escape, but you don’t feel sick anymore. It changes your ideas,” Ben said in an interview. “When you get diagnosed with cancer, you think about cancer all the time. I didn’t want that. With the first round of chemotherapy, as soon as I got off the bag, I would head straight to the gym.”

What an inspiration.

Julie Beaumont, who owns CrossFit de l’Ouest where Laekas has trained for more than five years, was so inspired by Laekas’s story that she hosted a fundraiser for him, raising over $7,000.

His doctors at McGill University Health Centre are just as inspired as his box. “I think he gives motivation not only to other patients but to doctors like myself,” said Dr. Jamil Asselah, Laekas’s oncologist. “He motivates me in my work because your goal as a physician is to see your patient live a normal life despite the treatments.”

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