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Fighter Series: Alden Cary

Fighter Series: Alden Cary

Alden Cary is a high school student who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in April of 2022.


Since he was a little kid, Alden played baseball. He worked out on a regular basis to supplement his athletic performance and one day, he noticed something that felt off. He began to feel pain in his knee – a consistent pain that gradually worsened over time. The pain had gotten so severe, to the point where he had to stop working out and was even struggling to walk at school.


Six months later, he was diagnosed with cancer.


After his diagnosis, he was left almost completely unable to walk because the cancer had spread to his knees and hip. 


From feeling great and working out on a consistent basis, to having difficulties when walking, Alden shifted his mindset. He focused on doing everything he could to get healthy again, which led to a difficult path ahead of him: six months of cancer treatment and chemotherapy. 


When asked about his fight with cancer, Alden said, “I would be really worn out from the treatment and it was difficult to eat at times. I had to take a lot of medication everyday and make sure I took care of myself and follow all of my doctor’s orders. It was also challenging mentally, because I lost my hair and had to miss six months of school and seeing many of my friends. But I was determined to beat it.”


Some of the things that kept Alden’s spirits up during treatment were the UFC events that played on Saturday nights. He started watching the UFC in the summer of 2021, a few months before he began his fight with cancer. He was immediately hooked on the sport of mma and continued watching fights during treatment. 


He drew inspiration from the fighters who put on a show every weekend, saying, “I saw those fighters facing tough conditions and it really inspired me, as I fought cancer, to continue to stay positive and do whatever I needed to do to beat it.”


In November of 2022, Alden did exactly what he believed he could do: he beat cancer!


One of his favorite UFC fighters is Dustin Poirier. Through the Make A Wish Foundation, Alden’s wish to meet and train with Dustin was granted. Alden visited American Top Team and got to meet their fighters, who were all incredibly supportive. They told him that he was the real fighter and convinced him to start training. After his personal training session with Dustin Poirier, Alden joined a martial arts gym and started taking classes.


Since he started watching and training mma, Alden says he has focused a lot more on his health and has become more disciplined in his everyday life. He continues exercising by weight training and running and has changed his nutrition regimen to better assist his conditioning. He is stronger and able to do things that weren’t previously possible for him, even before his battle with cancer. 


After the adversity Alden faced, the advice he has for everyone is the following: “Always look for the positives, no matter how negative the situation is.” For those currently fighting cancer and those who are facing hardships, he gives more great advice: “Don’t fight alone. Cancer can be scary, and it’s important to lean on your family and friends especially in the tough times.”


At the moment, Alden has resumed life as usual. He’s back in school, feeling stronger than ever, and continuing to evolve his mma skillset in the gym!


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