Professional fighter, DJ, and fitness model Coel Peach “couldn’t figure out what was going on” when he started coughing up blood and feeling unusually tired all the time. After a year of experiencing these symptoms, Coel was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

Now, Coel Peach is spreading a message of strength across social media as he fights against his toughest opponent yet.

What is Acute Myeloid Leukemia?

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that creates an excess of immature white blood cells. Common symptoms include extreme fatigue and a weakened immune system. Treatment includes chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants.

Coel finds himself in a unique situation, as there are less than 200,000 cases of AML in the United States per year and the condition is even more uncommon among the young and active.

Staying Active with Acute Myeloid Leukemia

An athlete most of his life, Coel is used to pushing himself to his limits and always believes that he can do more. Coel became involved in judo at an early age and now has a black belt in the sport along with experience in wrestling, boxing, muay thai, and ju-jitsu. He says that “martial arts have always been my passion my whole life. I was just born to do it.” Coel’s life largely centers around these activities and training his body to be in a strong condition.

As someone so heavily involved in fitness and who loves being active, Coel has found that being contained in the hospital for such a long time is difficult to accept. He says that sometimes, “I feel like a caged animal . . . I just want to go to the gym. I just want to go for a run.” But after being released for a few days and overdoing it, he ended up getting sick and having to go back to the hospital again.

Does your condition make it hard for you to do things you used to enjoy?

Coel now realizes that his body needs more time to rest than it did before. He is learning how to balance staying active and recovering from chemotherapy treatments, saying that, “I’m really trying to listen to my body more and more now and take the sit down or nap during the day.”

He has started walking as a way to stay active while undergoing treatment for acute myeloid leukemia instead of his usual strenuous exercises. He also believes that walking is a good way to clear his mental state. Coel is now “trying to walk around as much as possible while staying in the hospital.”

Maintaining a Positive Outlook

Although Coel tries to keep a positive outlook on his situation, he knows that “you do get defeated some days” and says that sometimes he gets angry and frustrated with his situation. He tries to fight these feelings using the power of a positive mindset and finds that “if I put a smile on my face, everything will kind of come around.”

Coel started posting daily updates of his journey with acute myeloid leukemia on his Instagram and Facebook pages and has been surprised with the amount of support he’s received. Both his family and friends and strangers all over the world are following his story and encouraging him in his fight. He attributes the growth of his following to having a positive attitude and has been thankful for the “great people that have come my way, their support has helped me a lot.”

Coel wants to reach as many people as possible who are struggling with acute myeloid leukemia and show them that “it’s not great . . . but it isn’t the end of the world.” We know that Coel has already made a positive impact on many people with AML and has shown those without his condition how to have strength during difficult times.

Supporting Coel

Coel recently received news that his first round of chemotherapy wasn’t successful and that he still has leukemia in his system. He is currently undergoing his second round of chemotherapy, which he says has been much harder than the first.

While in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy treatment, Coel has received support from many of his family, friends, and those in his community. He credits his girlfriend for supporting him during this tough time, saying that “I don’t know if I would have even made it this far without her. She’s been a huge support to me every day.” Coel’s daughter also visits him in the hospital and he has been able to “message her on the computer every chance I can.”

He has also received financial support from those in his community. Since he is self-employed and currently cannot work while undergoing treatment, Coel started his own GoFundMe page where anyone can donate to help him with his medical bills.

 

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