First up, when you use the term defying the odds, no one represents that better than Zach Gowen. No story can be as uplifting as the one we've been able to enjoy in the past couple of months in the WWE. Zach is an amazing 20 year old who went through more adversity at the age of 8 than any other. Zach Gowen has proven that he'll never let anything slow him down. Zach said that what motivates him is being the first to do something. That is what drives him. Zach's mom gave him the nickname Zach Attack as he was always running around causing trouble. Zach was involved in sports and very involved in wrestling. His dad always loved wrestling and he watched it with him. They'd have family come over and watch wrestling together. Zach would wrestle furniture by taking off the cushions and dropping the Randy Savage elbows on them. It wore out the couch and his mom got sick of it, so she banned wrestling. Zach's father left when he was four and that was the last time they saw or heard from him. It was an abusive household, so there was no choice but for them to move out on their own. Zach's dad had his problems and he was physically abusive towards his mother. He was good to Zach, but he hasn't heard from him in 16-17 years. Zach's first sign of being sick was when he came home from school and a ball struck his knee. His mom took it as a pulled muscle and they went for a week's vacation and while they were there, he complained that his leg was hurting. They thought it was a sprained knee and he had a brace on his leg. He slipped on some grease and his leg snapped. He was in a cast for the summer and he went for x-rays to make sure his leg was healing properly. They told him that there was nothing to worry about and during the examinations, the doctors would touch his leg and the pain was that bad. The doctor kept telling him that he was fine. Zach's mom was told that he was looking for attention. By the end of the summer, the cast was removed and his knee swelled up and that's when the surgeon sent them to someone who could tell them what was wrong. It was about a month later that they found out that it was actually cancer and not a broken leg. They always knew that Zach could die, but they never talked about that. Zach had to be in the hospital for chemo therapy and that meant that he had to stay at the hospital for weeks at a time. Zach became good friends with a number of children at the hospital and they had different types of cancer. A number of his friends did not make it and by the time he was 10, they had been to five funerals and it was just heart breaking. Make a wish came to them and explained that he was entitled to a wish. Zach knew he was going to live, so he didn't feel right taking that wish from someone else who deserved it, so he passed on it. They did talk about a wish that he would have and he really wanted to meet Hulk Hogan. That would have been it. Chemo wasn't reducing the size of the tumor and they had to move quickly because that type of cancer will move to your lungs. There was nothing they could do outside of the amputation. It was pretty devastating and it wasn't a great time but at that point, there really was no option. It was either take his leg and save his life or he dies. He remembers the night before the surgery, they went out to Red Lobster and a movie. The day of the amputation was definitely the hardest day and his mom wouldn't go back there for anything. When Zach went in for surgery, they didn't know how much of his leg that he would have left. That was unsettling for Zachary because his first question when he woke up from surgery was "Mom, do I have my hip?" They were able to save his hip and they left 8 centimeters of his leg. So he has a small stump and when he walks, he walks with a limp because of that stump. Zach really has to think about what he's doing when he walks.moreless
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