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Support Swells For ‘Captain America,’ Holbrook Personal Trainer Battling Rare Cancer

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Support Swells For ‘Captain America,’ Holbrook Personal Trainer Battling Rare Cancer


Hundreds of friends, former clients, and community members have answered the call since the Long Island personal trainer and Blue Point resident, fondly known as “Captain America,” announced he was diagnosed with leptomeningeal disease.

The rare cancer of the cerebrospinal fluid and tissue covering the brain affects the brain and spinal cord, according to the Cleveland Clinic. There is no cure.

In Emmel’s case, the aggressive form of cancer has manifested as malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, spreading throughout his brain, spine, and spinal fluid, according to a GoFundMe campaign.

“As Mike battles this rare condition, we are rallying together to support him in his fight,” organizer Ryan Smith said. He went on to describe Emmel as an “integral” part of Unique Fitness in Holbrook where he has worked as a personal trainer since 2019.

“His passion for fitness, unwavering determination, butt kicking workouts, and infectious positivity have touched the lives of everyone he encounters,” he said.

Despite the uncertainty ahead, Emmel has remained resilient and determined to overcome his “daunting challenge,” Smith said.

Doctors are now focused on preventing the cancer from spreading to the rest of his body and are exploring treatment options like protein radiation and chemotherapy.

“As we embark on this challenging journey with Mike, we ask for your support, thoughts, and prayers. Together, we can help alleviate the financial burden of medical expenses and ensure that Mike receives the best possible care,” Smith said.�

“Let’s stand by Captain America and show him the strength of our fitness family.”

The GoFundMe had raised over $37,000 from nearly 200 people as of Wednesday, April 10. Those who wish to donate can do so here.


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