In 2010, when he was only 15, Zach Zeiler was diagnosed with stage 1B Hodgkin”s Lymphoma. In its later stages, this cancer is fatal. Zach was previous an active, athletic high school student. Due to the illness as well as the treatments, he soon found himself weak. His weight dropped to about 100 pounds and he lost his hair. While he had the support of his family and his girlfriend, Tara Hurley, he was understandably frustrated with his situation.
Zach asked Tara Hurley out right before his diagnosis, and the couple, pictured here in 2010, has remained together ever since.
The treatments left Zach feeling weak and helpless, which made him frustrated.
Zach and his brother Corey.
Zach at the hospital, undergoing the cancer treatments that sapped his strength and caused him to lose weight as well as his hair.
Prior to his illness and treatment, Zach was active and athletic.
He decided to channel it into something constructive. He began working out with a focus on bodybuilding for two hours a day, even after radiation sessions. It began, he says, as a way to combat his thin, sickly appearance, but he found it was a good way to release the stress and anger he felt. His dedication to exercising and maintaining a 4,000-calorie-per-day diet paid off. Not only is he now 175 pounds, but his cancer is in remission.
Today, at age 20, Zeiler is in the process of developing his own personal training website, and has gained a considerable following on YouTube. He hopes to inspire people to reach for their goals in life, bodybuilding or otherwise. He and Hurley are still together.