**This is a story that was forwarded me to from a great girl Ashley Anderson from the CCFC's Gutsy Generation. Thanks Ashley for doing what you do :)
John Vella's (Bodybuilder) Inspiring Story!
was diagnosed with Crohn's when I was 17 years old. At the time I was deathly ill. I weighed in at a whopping 82 pounds. My skin looked awful, and I barely had the energy to go up a flight of steps. The cramps were constant and crippling. Trips to the hospital were just a part of life. It wasn't pretty! 2 surgeries and dozens of lengthy hospital stays later (plus slews of harsh medications that had their own set of lovely symptoms), let's fast forward to today. I consider myself totally cured. I am on no medication whatsoever, and I am 160 pounds, and preparing to compete in my first bodybuilding contest. I have also been dabbling with powerlifting with a 495 pound deadlift, and a 315 pound bench press, so that too may be on the horizon should I decide to seriously pursue it! I have also participated extensively in Submission Grappling & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. (Not exactly the world's most gentle pastimes) I say this humbly by the way! I say it not to boast, but to inspire anyone who walks in the shoes I did when I was a teenager.