‘Grateful’ Josiah Harrell Reflects on Discovery of Rare Brain Disease, Forcing UFC 290 Cancellation
Josiah Harrell, who was set to make his UFC debut at UFC 290, recently received life-altering news that ultimately saved him. Harrell, stepping in on short notice to replace Sean Brady, successfully completed the weigh-in for his scheduled bout against Jack Della Maddalena. However, moments later, Harrell’s coach and manager informed him of a revelation that would change everything.
Arriving at the hotel, Harrell sensed something was amiss when his coach and manager appeared with serious expressions. They revealed the shocking news to him: “You have Moyamoya, a brain disease that restricts blood flow to one side of your brain. You will require brain surgery, and the fight is off.” Stunned and trying to comprehend the situation, Harrell’s ego initially kicked in, questioning the reality of it all. He had worked tirelessly to reach this point, shedding weight and preparing for his moment. However, he soon shifted his focus and asked if the disease was treatable, to which they responded affirmatively. He also inquired about his status on the UFC roster, and they assured him that he remained a part of it. The situation was a whirlwind of emotions for Harrell, filled with ups and downs.
Throughout his life, Harrell had engaged in various sports, including football and wrestling, before discovering MMA. He had faced numerous challenges along the way, including financial obstacles preventing him from walking onto the University of Cincinnati football team. Harrell acknowledged that his ego had led him down dark paths in the past. Now, confronted with the reality of a rare brain disease, he underwent a roller-coaster of emotions but chose to focus on the positive aspects.
Harrell expressed gratitude and excitement, contemplating the potential of unlocking his full potential with unrestricted blood flow and full brain capacity. Nevertheless, he also wrestled with his ego, feeling frustrated by the delay after working so hard to reach this point. His feelings were a mix of conflicting emotions.
Acceptance and reflection became crucial steps in Harrell’s emotional journey. When asked if there were any signs or incidents in his past that aligned with the Moyamoya diagnosis, he recalled moments that now made sense. Harrell remembered instances of imbalance, such as falling after completing a 40-yard dash during a football camp. He had experienced difficulties in understanding language, which led to a dyslexia diagnosis during his childhood. Now, he realized that these incidents were likely symptoms of his condition.
After receiving the diagnosis, Harrell sought solace in conversations with fellow UFC hopeful Vince Murdock, who had also been affected by Moyamoya. Murdock’s career had been put on hold but managed to resume after undergoing surgery. Their discussion provided Harrell with hope, knowing that there was a chance to continue his MMA journey in the future.
While he chose gratitude as his guiding principle, Harrell also reflected on the progress he had made, both physically and emotionally. Throughout his life, he had faced adversity, often feeling targeted by circumstances beyond his control. However, he now believed that being grateful held more significance than self-pity. Harrell had learned to appreciate his life, recognizing that it had not been easy but had shaped him into who he was. He expressed excitement in witnessing his personal growth, acknowledging the presence of light even during the darkest times. He no longer viewed himself as a victim but as a good person navigating life’s challenges. He understood that earning one’s desires required determination rather than relying on handouts.
Harrell remained hopeful that the UFC would support his recovery, although he was uncertain about the extent of their assistance due to the extensive process preceding his surgery. As a competitor, one of his immediate concerns was whether he would be able to compete in the octagon or any MMA cage again. Even if the worst-case scenario became a reality, Harrell accepted it and vowed to find ways to be useful, offering help to others dealing with the same disease.
Regardless of the outcome, Harrell had grown as an individual, appreciating life in ways that neither money nor victories could provide. He believed his character could inspire others to express themselves more openly, emphasizing the importance of vulnerability. Harrell acknowledged the risks associated with vulnerability but stressed that gratitude was the key emotion capable of overcoming negativity. He valued the unwavering support he received from countless individuals and recognized that his journey in MMA was not solely for himself but an opportunity to share his feelings with others.
In conclusion, Josiah Harrell’s life took an unexpected turn with the discovery of a rare brain disease, leading to the cancellation of his UFC debut. Despite the initial shock and frustration, Harrell chose gratitude and reflected on his journey, finding meaning in his experiences and appreciating the support he received. He looked forward to the future, hoping to recover and continue his path in MMA, while also offering assistance to others facing similar challenges.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about rare brain disease
What was Josiah Harrell’s condition that led to the cancellation of his UFC debut?
Josiah Harrell was diagnosed with Moyamoya, a rare brain disease that restricts blood flow to one side of the brain. This condition necessitated brain surgery and ultimately led to the cancellation of his UFC debut at UFC 290.
How did Josiah Harrell react upon receiving the news of his condition?
Upon receiving the news of his condition, Josiah Harrell experienced a range of emotions. Initially, his ego kicked in, questioning the reality of the situation. However, he soon shifted his focus and chose to embrace gratitude and positivity. While he felt frustrated about the delay after working so hard for his UFC debut, he also expressed excitement about the potential to reach his full potential once his condition was treated.
Were there any signs or symptoms of Josiah Harrell’s condition prior to the diagnosis?
Josiah Harrell reflected on certain incidents from his past that now aligned with the symptoms of his condition. For instance, he recalled moments of imbalance, such as falling after completing a 40-yard dash during a football camp. He also mentioned difficulties in understanding language, which had previously been attributed to dyslexia. These instances provided retrospective clarity, indicating that these were likely symptoms of his Moyamoya condition.
Has anyone else in the UFC faced a similar diagnosis?
Yes, fellow UFC hopeful Vince Murdock faced a similar diagnosis of Moyamoya, which also led to a delay in his fighting career. However, he was able to undergo surgery and resume his MMA journey after a period of recovery.
How has Josiah Harrell’s perspective on life changed since his diagnosis?
Josiah Harrell expressed a newfound maturity and appreciation for life. He emphasized the importance of gratitude and the ability to overcome self-pity. Rather than viewing himself as a victim, he recognized that life’s challenges were tests that one could navigate with determination and a positive mindset. He also believed that vulnerability was essential and that his experiences could inspire others to express themselves more openly.
Will Josiah Harrell be able to continue his MMA career?
The outcome regarding Josiah Harrell’s ability to continue his MMA career is uncertain at this point. While he remains hopeful and determined, there are still medical tests and procedures to undergo before he can schedule brain surgery. The extent of the UFC’s support in his recovery process is also unclear. However, regardless of the outcome, Harrell has expressed his willingness to find ways to be useful and help others who are dealing with the same disease.
More about rare brain disease
- “Josiah Harrell reflects on revelation of rare brain disease that led to UFC 290 scratch” (source)
- “Josiah Harrell opens up about his brain disease diagnosis” (source)
- “UFC hopeful Vince Murdock’s battle with Moyamoya disease” (source)
- “Understanding Moyamoya disease” (source)
- “Symptoms and signs of Moyamoya disease” (source)
- “Exploring the concept of gratitude in life” (source)