“…[Leon] Mitchell told ABC News he was initially “embarrassed and humiliated” that his image, taken from a social media account, became a meme….

‘Personally, I’ve had to deal with my situation for 10 years and have had come to terms with my outward physical appearance. I’ve been able to empower myself through it,’ he told ABC News. ‘My wife and I started a mantra: Not now or ever! It was something we said on a daily basis when we were fighting. We would use that as a catalyst on a day-to-day basis to get us through the daily trials and tribulations. And 10 years later, we still use the mantra. Our children use it. It’s a lifestyle.’

Mitchell clarified that he doesn’t want sympathy. Instead, he wants to remind Internet users to think before they post.

‘I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I don’t want a pity party,’ he continued. ‘I want to take this and turn it into a positive. I don’t have any animosity toward the person who created it. I don’t even think it was an intentional attack on my cancer situation. It just so happened to be a (distasteful) joke.’” Joi-Marie Mckenzie, ABC News

“‘…When I first saw the meme I was confused as how the picture made its way onto the internet in the first place. Then there was feeling of embarrassment, and little bit of hurt feelings,’ Mitchells tells Yahoo Health. ’At that point I felt it necessary to address the post but do so with a positive spin and with no animosity or ill words for whomever posted it. But I felt that it needed to be addressed to not only stop the negative back lash that was heading my way to take a stand for cyber bullying. I wasn’t about to walk around my hometown being looked at and chastised for something placed onto the Internet.’

And yet, he says, he is grateful for the outpouring of support he has received since he posted his Instagram response.

‘The love shown country-wide has been mind blowing and absolutely overwhelming. It is amazing to see so many people come together in one for a positive reason,’ he notes.” Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy, Yahoo Health

“The real point, though, isn’t that Mitchell is a cancer survivor instead of a meth addict — it’s that too often, we’re too quick to share something we think is funny without any thought for the bigger picture.

Consider, for a moment, if Mitchell were not the success story he is. Imagine he was, in fact, a meth addict. Imagine he was, in fact, struggling to overcome personal demons and a biological addiction that medical experts say is extremely hard to shake.

Would that make the joke any better?” Sam Laird, Mashable

Leon Mitchell - Instagram - Facebook

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Throughout all of history, human beings have been fascinated with feats of superhuman strength. We’ve told tales of Gods that move mountains and men that wrestle lions with their bare hands. But in truth, the most heroic acts of all are the weights everyday people lift within themselves.
—  Beau Taplin // E v e r y d a y  S u p e r m a n
Being a successful person is not necessarily defined by what you have achieved, but by what you have overcome.
—  Fannie Flagg, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion

Three years ago I was extremely thin and very depressed. My family would tell me how scared they were that I was getting so thin you could see my ribs. The scary thing was that I wanted to lose more weight. I was 125 pounds and I wanted to be 120. I hated the way I looked because I just felt so ugly. I would shave my entire body and even wanted to bleach my skin. Today I am 160 pounds and I am so happy with the person I’ve become. I actually feel beautiful in my skin. I love my body hair and I love my complexion. I have thighs and I love them. I love the way I look and it took 3 years for me to realize just how far I’ve come.

“My humanity is a constant self-overcoming, but I need solitude: a recovery, a return to myself, a breath of a free, light, playful air. The whole of my Zarathustra is a dithyramb to solitude, or, if you have understood me, to purity.”

—F. Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, “Why I Am So Wise” §8 (edited excerpt).

I will give you an example of how race affects my life. I live in a place called Alpine, New Jersey. Live in Alpine, New Jersey, right? My house costs millions of dollars…In my neighborhood, there are four black people. Hundreds of houses, four black people. Who are these black people? Well, there’s me, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z and Eddie Murphy. Only black people in the whole neighborhood. So let’s break it down…Mary J. Blige, one of the greatest R&B singers to ever walk the Earth. Jay-Z, one of the greatest rappers to ever live. Eddie Murphy, one of the funniest actors to ever, ever do it. Do you know what the white man who lives next door to me does for a living? He’s a fucking dentist. He ain’t the best dentist in the world. He ain’t going to the dental hall of fame. He don’t get plaques for getting rid of plaque. He’s just a yank-your-tooth-out dentist. See, the black man gotta fly to get to something the white man can walk to.
—  Chris Rock