In the footsteps of The Blind Side comes a story on the power of friendship, commitment and the ultimate will to keep living.
Cody Garbrandt grew up in one of the most violent places in America; coal country, deep in the Appalachian mountains of Ohio. There was a longstanding culture of fighting, drugs, mayhem and chaos. Raised in this environment by a single mom (his dad left him at the young age of three to reside in the Ohio State Penitentiary), Cody grew up fighting and he grew up wild. His future ticketed him for the coal mines, but after spending two weeks deep in the earth, Cody decided that wasn’t for him. The way out? Mixed Martial Arts. Cody drifted for two years, spending as much time on street fights as in the gym. Then, at age 20, Cody’s brother (and frequent combatant) introduced Cody to five-year old Maddux Mason. Maddux was deathly ill with leukemia, his survival by no means assured. A friendship quickly developed and shortly after they met, they made a promise to each other: Maddux would beat cancer and Cody would win a championship belt.
Through five long years of pain and hardship, they both persevered; Cody, through the agony and sacrifices of becoming a champion, and Maddux through the horrors of chemotherapy. They loved and supported each other. They served as each other’s inspiration. And in December 2016, Cody won his MMA Championship belt which he promptly presented to Maddux, who had just beaten cancer and was in remission.
This is their story.
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