There’s never a good time to get diagnosed with cancer, but for jiu-jitsu black belt Luke Adams, the timing of his diagnosis couldn’t have been much worse.
Adams is originally from California but now lives in Bangkok, Thailand, where he teaches MMA and boxing and Bangkok Fight Lab. He told the Jiu-Jitsu Times that he had “never had any health problems,” but last month, on his two-year black belt anniversary, he was diagnosed with rectal cancer. The diagnosis came after nearly a year of digestive issues. “I was too embarrassed to talk about my symptoms ’til they got so bad I had no choice to see a doctor,” he said. “I had a colonoscopy. They removed polyps and detected cancer. I couldn’t believe it, but actually, when they told me it was cancer, it made sense. I thought I had an enlarged prostate, maybe hemorrhoids or IBS.”
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has made Adams’ diagnosis an even greater hardship. Bangkok Fight Lab has closed during the outbreak, which means that Adams is temporarily out of a job. He’s had two sessions of radiation treatment so far, but the costs are going to keep climbing. To try to help ease the financial burden that comes with cancer treatment, a fundraiser has been set up for him. The fundraiser provides multiple options to donate to Adams’ recovery in this already tough time, either by direct bank transfer or PayPal.
Adams is a fighter (literally — he’s had 20 professional fights since his debut at age 19 in 2006), and you can bet he’s not going to give up on this battle. But in addition to making it through this challenge that life has thrown him, he also hopes to spread awareness about colorectal cancer, especially after the untimely passing of fellow black belt Paul Moran due to the same disease. “I want to bring awareness to this. I wouldn’t wish these symptoms on my enemies. I’m handicapped, it’s taken over my life,” says Adams.
Although money is tight for many people right now in this time of uncertainty, any donation, big or small, would be a huge help to this martial artist who has been giving back to the community through teaching. You can donate to his medical funds here and learn more about colorectal cancer here.