He might be an MMA Fighter, but Aaron Aby has fought his hardest battle away from the octagon. He had a very tough start to life at a very young age, as he was told he wouldn’t live past 16 after being born with cystic fibrosis.
Yet he outlived those fears, but life was to get a lot harder many years down the line – the professional MMA fighter was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2017 – fighting his last bout against Danny Missin without even knowing he had the disease. The 29-year-old was forced to put his fighting career on hold to battle cancer.
Aaron was left with an agonising choice to continue treatment and miss out on becoming a dad, and as a result delayed it while continuing to try for a baby and potentially let the cancer spread. It led to him having six lots of the treatment, as well as two surgeries to remove both the testicle and lymph mass in his stomach.
Although the odds were highly against him, both operations were a success and Aaron was given the all clear in February earlier this year. After battling his way through and defying the odds against him to beat stage three cancer and is now set to return to the ring.
He wasn’t supposed to be back training again until February 2020 and he’s lost 15 percent lung function as a result of the chemotherapy, but after a long and arduous journey, Aby returns to the Octagon this weekend.
He told SPORTbible: “When you get told you have cancer it’s one of the hardest things to deal with but what I’d been through in the past helped prepare me for it. I’d been beating cystic fibrosis and now I was going to beat cancer. I basically felt like I was dying without dying and it was a mental fight that I had to push through.”
It is an incredible tale – Aaron Aby has had to fight steep battles in life – they have been mentally and physically draining, but he has kept pushing, showing great character and has overcome them with his indomitable spirit.
When he steps into the octagon again, it would be a fairytale story that will be told to the world to inspire people to fight their battles without fear and win over them.