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I have learned that with large influence comes a large amount of responsibility and that’s why I use my influence to focus on empowering others to become as healthy, happy, and successful as possible. The movement I am currently working towards is one of perspective and non-stop action. Perspective of being grateful to be alive, perspective that our reality is a manifestation of our choices, and a perspective of patience that allows for non-stop action, getting up when we fall down in life, and never giving up on our desires in life.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Josh Perry. Thrilling ups and downs, rapid turns and hard crashes are all part of life. Sometimes things take a smooth, predictable approach and other times you get caught in a tailspin from out of nowhere that slams you hard on the concrete. It’s not really about how hard you fall, but more about how quickly you are willing to get up and take another shot. Just ask Josh Perry… Today Josh is a happy, healthy 30-year-old man with his whole life ahead of him. Nine years ago, shortly after achieving a lifelong goal of becoming a professional BMX athlete, he received his first brain tumor diagnosis. Josh had a meningioma, a benign tumor that caused intense headaches and significantly impaired vision. His tumor was successfully removed through an open craniotomy, an invasive surgical procedure that requires opening of the skull. His recovery was slow but within two months Josh was back on the BMX circuit. He felt he’d been given a second chance and took advantage of every opportunity to compete, travel, perform and give back to the community. Two years later during his yearly check-up, an MRI showed two new tumors at the original cancer site. The optimism he’d built following his first diagnosis, surgery and recovery was squashed. Josh knew that there had to be an alternative to invasive brain surgery and after the harsh reality of a second diagnosis set in, he committed to finding another way. Following extensive internet research and discussions with his surgeon, Josh learned about and decided on stereotactic radiosurgery. With this non-invasive approach, beams of radiation are precisely delivered to specific areas within the brain without surgically entering the skull. One week after stereotactic radiosurgery Josh was once again at the helm of his BMX bike. He reported the procedure to be painless and similar to getting an MRI, only shorter. In addition to continuing to compete on the BMX circuit, Josh is channeling his experiences and his newly earned certification as a holistic health coach towards broad-scale health awareness programs and campaigns. As one of a handful of people to have survived three separate brain tumors, Josh believes it is his mission to help educate people with brain tumors about their options. He founded The Josh Perry Foundation as his way of giving back to those with brain tumors, brain injuries, and other brain disorders. Nearly 78,000 new cases of primary brain tumors (including cancerous and non-cancerous tumors) were diagnosed last year, and nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. alone are living with primary brain and central nervous system tumors. Josh’s goal is to share his story and the importance of prioritizing health and well-being to live a long, full life. Check out Josh’s blog Daily Brainstorms to read more about his story, see some cool BMX videos and read about his newfound love for sauerkraut and kombucha.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you for the opportunity to share my life with you! I found myself at a skatepark when I was 11 or so and that’s when I was exposed to BMX bike riding. The freedom to express myself on my bike, the challenge to learn a new trick, and the ability to progress to whatever level your mind allowed is what drew me to the sport besides the awesomeness of backflipping a bike. What started as a creative outlet and hobby that allowed me to escape negativity in my childhood years turned into a passion that consumed my life. This passion led me to dropping out of high school and quitting my well-paying landscaping job back on Cape Cod to pursue this dream I had created to become a pro BMX rider. Even though many others doubted me and actually told me I would fail, my parents supported me every step of the way and I manifested my dreams into reality. I actually surpassed all my goals when I started training with my idol, Dave Mirra, and was pushed beyond my comfort zone to realize the potential I had for my career. I found myself winning Harley’s, traveling the world, on TV and being paid to live my dream.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

When you say interesting, my mind gravitates towards inspirational, and one story does take center stage. Shortly after achieving my lifelong goal of becoming a professional BMX athlete, I received the first brain tumor diagnosis in 2010. I had a meningioma, a benign tumor that caused intense headaches that would lead me to throw up and significantly impaired my vision. The tumor was successfully removed through an open craniotomy. As you can imagine, recovering from this invasive surgical procedure was not easy, mentally or physically, but I was able to get back on my BMX bike after 5 weeks. No words could describe my shock two years later when two new brain tumors were spotted during an annual scan of my brain. I knew that there had to be an alternative to the invasive brain surgery that I endured the last time, and after much discussion and research, I came across Gamma Knife Radiation. The process, which I like an MRI, is a non-invasive radiation therapy to treat tumors that requires no incisions at all. My take away message for anyone dealing with adversity is to audit the changes they can make in their lives and seek out a solution, but to always take advantage of modern technology when it is available.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One of the funniest mistakes I made when first starting out riding BMX bikes was leaving my bike in the driveway behind my mom’s truck outside of the garage and her accidentally backing up over it. My bike frame bent in and some parts broke but it taught me the valuable lesson of being mindful of where I put my things and to pick up after myself.

Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?

I am using my social media platforms to share my truth and to serve and support. I share my story of how a broke kid from Cape Cod risked everything he had on a dream backed by a vision, hard work, a belief in myself, and how I was not willing to give up in order to make that dream manifest. I share my beliefs of perspective being essential the life and how gratitude for our lives leads to abundance. I share how health is internal and my experiences overcoming 5 brain tumors in order to learn this. I also share how our reality is a manifestation of our choices. I share all of this so others can learn from my journey and be proactive in their lives rather than living in autopilot and reacting to life. Jim Carrey said “life doesn’t happen to us, life happens for us” and I believe in that 100%.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?

Miles Sullivan is a 23 year old who reached out to me to gain support and guidance with implementing a ketogenic diet (a passion of mine) after his brother mentioned how keto was shown to support those with drug resistant epileptic seizures. Miles told me how he had 5–7 seizures a day after 2 years of failed brain surgeries and over 10 medications. After just a month they dropped in numbers each day and as of currently, his 5–7 seizures has subsided for as long as 2 months at a time and when one does occur, it’s just 1 that day and not as severe as before. It’s safe to say we became great friends. What’s rad about this story is that his mother joined in to support him along his journey and she too gained significant results subjectively and was shown in her bio markers. It’s safe to say Miles, his family and I have become close and I that’s one of many many examples of how powerful social media has been in my life.

Was there a tipping point the made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?

Yes, 3 brain tumors diagnosed over the last 9 years has led me to implementing a ketogenic diet and becoming passionate towards showing others how they can implement this way of eating into a lifestyle, which it truly is. The third brain tumor diagnosis in February of 2017 motivated me to implement this way of eating 100% and submerge myself in research. It also allowed me to retire from competition to fulfill my new life mission, which is to serve and support others by empowering them.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

The number 1 thing anyone can do to help me address the root of the problem I am trying to solve is to share the importance of open-mindedness and consciousness. While enrolled in a holistic health coaching program, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the founder said “we’re not here to teach you what to think. We’re here to teach you how to think.” I take that mentality with me and rather than trying to force people into making changes, I share my truth, walk my talk, and strive to inspire new perspectives that lead to new action in others’ lives by sharing my story.

What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?

The strategies I have used are quite simple, but do take time and effort. I have not only taken a 180 degree turn away from my BMX dream for this life mission, I have done all I can to share my efforts along the way. This includes social media, of course, but also networking, finding my way to gaining invites to attend events like the Biden Cancer Initiative in D.C., speaking on stage (never thought I would be doing that), starting a health coaching business, collaborating with others, and really doing whatever I can to be heard. I regards to social media, my main goal is to share VALUE on a regular basis. I share all I can to help support others along their journey and I do so by posting 1–2 times a day, respond to EVERY single comment and DM I can, share across all platforms, and just stay engaged every way I can. Anyone that follows this advice can’t help but succeed in sharing their mission. This is all the same things I share when others ask what they can do with social media to share their passion, cause, etc. Post daily (multiple times if you can), engage with your community and every single person that engages your account, share VALUE, make it about your audience rather than you, and be patent.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

When I first started I wish I was told to post daily, share VALUE in thinking of what my audience is looking for, engage with everyone on my account and in my community, be patient, and don’t compare myself to others, just focus on my mission.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have learned that with large influence comes a large amount of responsibility and that’s why I use my influence to focus on empowering others to become as healthy, happy, and successful as possible. The movement I am currently working towards is one of perspective and non-stop action. Perspective of being grateful to be alive, perspective that our reality is a manifestation of our choices, and a perspective of patience that allows for non-stop action, getting up when we fall down in life, and never giving up on our desires in life.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Fear is just a thought and thoughts can be changed is something I have been saying for years and was the first tattoo I ever got. Fear presents itself in every aspect of life and it’s inevitable. This quote has been relevant to me since the day I took a missive risk in dropping out of high school, quitting my job, and moving 14 hours south to live on my own chasing a dream. Then it’s be present every step of the way as I learned new tricks, traveled to places like Iraq, competed, performed for 60,000+ fans at NFL halftime shows, went into a life or death brain tumor surgery, quit my dream to start my own business, and every time I walk on stage to speak in front of others. It’s literally just a thought that only has power over us if we allow it. It’s a great consciousness tool that helps us become aware of situations but it can cripple us if we give into it, leading us to never live up to our full potential. Too often do we tend to go to fear of failure, judgement, and success as a subconscious programming from a younger age. I have found that learning how our consciousness works and using fear as a tool to stay humble but not control me is what has allowed me to create success in all areas of my life. I should define what success means to me and that is to be as healthy and happy as I can while bringing others along with me. I am confident in saying that is exactly what I am doing today now that I am off self and on purpose.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

That’s a toss up between Joe Rogan, Lance Armstrong, and Kerwin Rae. Joe because he’s Joe, haha. But seriously, his podcast and perspectives have helped me gain massive perspective in my life and dig myself out of severe depression. Lance because his story was one I could relate to and found prior to brain surgery. His story allowed me to believe in myself that I would be ok and back to riding as long as I believed I would be ok and worked my butt off. Kerwin because he has taught me so much about business, the power of social media, how I want to show up in life, and so much more I can’t express enough gratitude for. I love all 3 of these men and hope to share my love and gratitude with them one day. I have no desire to ask them for anything other than a handshake and hug to say thank you.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Readers can follow me on all social media platforms with the username of @JoshPerryBMX across them all: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Thank you for all of these great insights!

“Our reality is a manifestation of our choices” with Josh Perry and Candice Georgiadis was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.