Javier Vasquez had a long and respected MMA career but he’s still very very private.
The former son in law of Rorion Gracie was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 41. This has prompted him to open a gofundme page to help cover the costs of his treatment and recovery.
“To be honest guys, I was quite shocked at the amount of support and love – and my family was shocked,” he said in a 19-minute-long Facebook video in which he discusses his current battle and future plans. “It was just an amazing blessing that everybody has been supporting me – and the amount of love and support that everyone’s been showing me. I had to address people that went out of their way to donate to the fund, and it’s been a really, really amazing journey so far.”
Javier is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Medeiros, since 2003, making him most likely the first Cuban black belt in the Brazilian grappling style.
Vasquez recently went through a divorce and stepped away from his gym which found him in a very bad position. He is unsure when he’ll be able to teach again.
“I felt like I had to say something because the support has been overwhelming,” he said. ” … Sometimes life’s biggest challenges, you can take them and crumble under them, or you can embrace them, learn from them and grow from them.
“So I’m trying to do that – trying to stay positive.”
Ultimately, he said, he simply wants to return to teaching.
“I can’t mention everybody, but know that I appreciate you guys all, and you guys have always known that – that my commitment has always been to the students,” he said. “My commitment has has always been to the friendships and the bonds that we’ve made as friends.”
Vasquez has managed to raise enough money to be able to go into treatment with a clear head. His gofundme page currently has 42000$ raised more than the initial threshold of 35000$ .