I guess I should properly introduce myself, my legal name is Aaron Rouselle I’ve been called Ar my entire life. I didn’t become ARSTRONG until September 17, 2015.
Prior to 2015 I had a pretty clean bill of health. I was 30 years old teaching and also working as a CrossFit coach. I was at my peak physical condition. In June of 2015 I had my gall bladder removed, at this time they found swollen lymph nodes and after a few biopsies I was diagnosed with stage 2 penile cancer.
On September first they removed the cancer and the majority of my man part. On September 11th I found out I was cancer free, and then started getting sick. 3 days later I finally went to the ER and that’s all I remember until around October. Apparently, things went really bad fast. That Tuesday the 15th I was in shock trauma at UMMC and on every machine to stay alive. My kidneys and liver were failing. The doctors didn’t want to do the transplant because of the recent cancer and the stress my body was under for so long no one thought I’d survive surgery, let alone find a donor in time. I had about 10-12 hours. Thanks to god they found a match and surgery went as good as it could. I have audio of the doctors post surgery. It’s pretty intense. I spent the next month in the hospital with my stomach open because I was
I spent the next month in the hospital with my stomach open because I was too swollen to close up along with dialysis 9 hours a week until my kidneys started to work again. They did and on November 2nd I came home. To finally be with my kids and family again was such a blessing and really jump-started my recovery.
Today I’m back to my normal weight and almost back to all of my old activities, hoping to dunk a basketball again soon. God has truly blessed me. I shouldn’t be here today but I am. I plan to raise as much awareness for men’s health and organ donation. During my year off I really focused on my family and going back to college so I’ll graduate this may with a degree in general studies with a focus point in health.
There’s a lot more to the story and a lot I still deal with today on the mental side of things but I’m so thankful to be alive and spreading the word.