post Bodybuilding Icon Flex Wheeler's Battle with Amputation

Bodybuilding Icon Flex Wheeler's Battle with Amputation

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: January 24, 2024

Flex Wheeler, a four-time Arnold Classic winner, is a bodybuilding legend known for his triumphs both on and off the stage. Despite battling a genetic kidney disease and undergoing multiple surgeries, Wheeler’s spirit remained unbroken. However, in 2019, a life-threatening condition led to the amputation of his leg, a reality that still haunts him.

Bodybuilding Icon Flex Wheeler's Battle with Amputation
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In a candid Instagram video, Wheeler shared his struggle with accepting his new reality. “I was driving to church this morning and I noticed that I don’t have a leg,” he confessed. The shock of his altered life hits him often, especially at night when he wakes up in a panic, reaching for a leg that’s no longer there.

Despite the challenges, Wheeler remains a fighter. His fitness journey from track football, baseball, martial arts, to professional bodybuilding has been a roller coaster ride, but becoming an amputee was the biggest change in his life. He encouraged his followers to face their obstacles and find the strength to carry on.

Wheeler’s leg surgery was a result of steroid usage, which led to inflammation and a diagnosis of Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSG), a deadly kidney disease. Despite his health issues, Wheeler continued to compete until things took a turn for the worse. His arteries are continuously blocked, causing lingering problems in his legs and flicks. “The doctor said ‘The disease you have now causes occlusions of your arteries. So you’re at risk now, of losing your left leg’,” Wheeler revealed.

Despite his adversities, Wheeler remains a beacon of resilience, inspiring fans with his unwavering positivity. His story serves as a cautionary tale about the potential dangers of steroid use and a testament to the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

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