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|Retired Marine Tells How to Convert Obstacles into Opportunity|
|News Releases - General Info|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Friday, 12 July 2013 14:42|
Cancer-Causing Disease Ended Dream But Opened
Unexpected Doors, He Says
For as long as he could remember, Jay Platt wanted to be a U.S. Marine, and for nearly 15 years, he lived that dream. But in 1998, a rare condition called von Hippel Lindau syndrome (VHL), attacked his eyes, brain, spine and kidneys, forcing his retirement from the service.
“Before VHL I pretty much felt untouchable – until I started having symptoms and the eventual diagnosis,” he says.
“I was scared, confused and angry for a number of years; I couldn’t understand why God would do this to me. I went from feeling invulnerable to officially being considered handicapped.”
After a personal journey of acceptance, Platt recalibrated his sense of purpose by accepting challenges many world-class athletes wouldn’t consider. Along with a record-breaking Mississippi swim while blindfolded, handcuffed and shackled, he swam from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco with his hands and feet tied, and he was one of fewer than 300 people to hike the more than 2,100-mile southbound Appalachian Trail.
Platt, who is the subject of the new documentary, “Living Unstoppable,” (www.LivingUnstoppable.com), explains his transformation and how others might apply the lessons of his journey to their own lives:
About Jay Platt
Jay Platt was medically retired from the Marine Corps in 1998 after suffering complications from von Hippel Lindau syndrome (VHL), a genetic disease that resulted in brain and spinal tumors, kidney cancer, and the loss of his left eye. When told his future would be considerably dimmer than his past, Platt set out to rebuild himself physically, mentally and spiritually, and to challenge himself by setting demanding physical goals. He was one of fewer than 300 people to have hiked the more than 2,100-mile southbound Appalachian Trail; one of three to swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco with hands and feet tied; and the only person to swim across the Mississippi River while blindfolded, handcuffed and shackled. The proceeds from his adventures and sales of his documentary benefit non-profits, including the VHL Family Alliance.
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