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Gonzales transplant recipient headed to California to compete for good cause
GONZALES- Owner of The Physique Dr. and personal trainer, Michael Bradley, says he has been into sports and fitness for many years.
"After being discharged from the Marine Corps in 1990, I went off to play college in Alabama at a small school," Bradley said.
Unfortunately, his sports career ended by the time he was 20.
"After the ball was hit off of the bat, I couldn't see it anymore. I was like, I can't do this anymore. I started going to doctors and they couldn't figure out what it was. When I went off to Birmingham, I found out in like five minutes," Bradley said.
After high school, Bradley went to join the military but was unable to complete his basic training due to his eyesight. When he went to college, he found out why. Doctors in Alabama told him he had Keratoconus.
His vision was becoming more blurred as the cornea in both of his eyes were starting to bulge outward.
"At 19, 20 years old it was devastating. To lose first the Marine Corps, then the opportunity to play college football. But looking back, I've had an extraordinary life, I've been able to do a lot of things."
In 1992, Bradley received a cornea transplant for his left eye. In 2012, he had a second cornea transplant, this time in his right eye.
It's because of those anonymous organ donors, that Bradley is able to drive his car and train his clients—something he says he is grateful for.
According to the Gift of Life Donor program, there are more than 100,000 people waiting for an organ transplant.
"Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that don't know that need exist," Bradley said.
To raise awareness, he is going to San Diego this weekend to compete in the Transplant Games of America. He is a part of Team Louisiana. It consist of 79 people, 19 of them athlete patients.
"I'm excited for the 100m, but also ping pong, cornhole, and the 5k," Bradley said.
The physical trainer says he nervous about the competition, but excited to win medals for a good cause.
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