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Two-Time Cancer Survivor, Club Fit Coach Needle Shares His Story

Jason Needle, two-time cancer survivor, poses with former boxer Mike Tyson.
Jason Needle, two-time cancer survivor, poses with former boxer Mike Tyson. Photo Credit:

Jason Needle is a Parisi Coach at Club Fit Jefferson Valley. He is battling a form of leukemia known as Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) . Jason is a true hero and has been using his fight against cancer to empower others affected by the disease. He founded Jason's Army, a group that is dedicated to raising funds. The most recent fundraising event was a 5K.

No matter what life throws my way, I’ve learned to step back, figure out what needs to happen, and then try my best to make it happen. If life throws you a curveball, you can try your best to knock it out of the park, close your eyes and hope it’s not a strike, or give up and leave the game. I choose to go for it! With a smile on my face and a positive attitude, I feel as if I can achieve anything that I set my mind to.

As a kid, having the opportunity to go to Club Fit was a wonderful experience for me. I loved it so much that I was inspired to go to school and earn a degree in Exercise Sports Science. I wanted to become a personal trainer and I wanted to work at Club Fit. Once I finally had the opportunity, I jumped on it.

Club Fit is now like a second family to me. I cherish the relationships that I’ve made here and I am excited for what the future will bring. I feel the same way about the Parisi Speed School. The program is designed for success. Once I started working with the kids and began to see their improvement in performance and confidence, I was hooked. These kids are my life; they drive me, they look up to me and I look up to them.

Being able to help a child grow confident through fitness and performance is a beautiful thing to me.  The excitement they show when they reach a new goal or do something they thought couldn’t be done is what drives me day in and day out. If these kids can do it, then so can I! I was there for them when they needed help, and guess what? They were there for me when I needed help.

When I was diagnosed with AML leukemia in November 2010, I didn’t think for a second, that it was going to beat me. I was actually pumped up for the challenge. I was in the best shape of my life and I knew that this was my time to shine. I needed to beat this disease so that I could get back to these kids and continue to help them grow.

Club Fit and the Parisi Speed School became my support. They created a “Jason’s Army” site on Facebook and Jason’s Army created a survivor.

I received so much support from my family, my friends, all the members, staff, athletes, and their families, that I had no choice but to beat this. I had visitors every single day throughout my 200-plus days at N.Y. Presbyterian Hospital. I received countless cards, flowers, gifts, and phone calls day after day. All of these things helped me keep a smile on my face every single day and pushed me forward when I needed a push. All of these people will now be part of my life forever and have helped me to become the person who I am today.

After seven rounds of chemotherapy, total body radiation and two bone marrow transplants, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to thank all of you for your support. You have given me the strength to move forward each day and the attitude to know that I can.  I’m an Iraq war veteran, a two-time cancer survivor, and a proud member of the Club Fit family.

Click here to watch Jason tell his story.

Daily Voice produced this article as part of a paid Content Partnership with our advertiser, Club Fit

We are highly selective with our Content Partners, and only share stories that we believe are truly valuable to the communities we serve.

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