Mississauga wrestler says cancer diagnosis ‘won’t set him back’
A Mississauga pro-wrestler is hoping his story of perseverance can inspire others to ‘fight through’ their cancer diagnosis.
Michael Mizerski, known to fans as “The Relentless John Atlas,” was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer in 2018.
“It was shocking to me. I’m a very healthy person,” he told CTV News Toronto. “I have a very healthy lifestyle.”
Mizerski said that doctors found multiple tumours growing in his lungs, but he didn’t demonstrate any symptoms.
“I’m like, yeah, I feel fine,” he said. “At the same time, that is kind of scary.”
He decided right then that he wasn’t going to let the diagnosis change his plans of continuing his wrestling career while inspiring others.
“I wasn’t going to let the disease set me back. I wasn’t going to let it define me,” he said. “I was going to fight. I might not have been at my best, but I was still giving a pretty good effort.”
This isn’t the first time Mizerski has had to fight for his life outside of the ring. In 2013, while working in Victoria, B.C., he was injured in a drive-by shooting.
He said he was able to stay level-headed throughout the ordeal.
“I felt that if I was to panic or not be able to control myself, the blood would continue to rush out of my leg.”
And now, Mizerski is fighting yet again, undergoing chemotherapy and two surgeries. He said that 48 tumours have been removed from his lungs. One of them, he said, was the size of a baseball.
Mizersk hopes to one day become a wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment and to become a role model to kids who may have gone through struggles similar to his own.
“Be relentless in your approach. Accept no defeat.”
With files from CTV News Toronto's Brandon Rowe