Brain tumor survivor walking across country brings message of hope to Corydon
Sebastien Jacques went from prodigy to nearly paralyzed
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A star athlete knocked off his feet by a brain tumor says he's taking life one step at time.
Sebastien Jacques lives up to to his words quite literally. We found him in Corydon, walking across the country to share his story.
"In short, I went from being Number One in Canada as a tennis player, to not being able to walk for more than 15 minutes a day," Jacques said.
Jacques went from prodigy, to being nearly paralyzed -- and lived that way for four years.
"It all started when I was at (Virginia) Tech on the tennis court," he explained. "I started feeling dizzy, head pressure and very weak, physically."
Jacques said. "I kind of call it the four years from hell -- doctors trying to figure out what was happening to my body."
Finally an answer came: a benign tumor growing in the middle of Jacques' brain.
"Which no one was willing to do the surgery on, since it was risky and I was young," explained Jacques.
But he kept pressing and found a specialist in California who put him back on his feet. Now at 28, Jacques is retracing the journey, walking from his home country in Canada to Virginia Tech, and across the United States back to California.
"And I'm finishing shaking hands with the neurosurgeon who saved my life in Santa Monica," Jacques said.
Mile-by-mile, he's inspiring the masses.
"People who have had tough times, people who have had health issues, saying, 'Yeah now I'm taking it one day at a time like you're doing with your walk, and your health situation, and you're helping me get through those tough situations,'" he said.
Jacques walks about 8 to 10 hours and as much as 30 miles a day through rain, snow and whatever comes his way.
"I saw a bear in West Virginia," he said. "That was very scary...so I've had some pretty interesting things happen to me already."
The message -- much like his motto -- is just to keep going.
"It almost seems impossible when I think of the whole journey, but I know I can get through the day, that's for sure," he said.
Jacques started his walk in April. He hopes to reach California and complete the 3,300 mile trek by the end of September.
"It's long...but I'm doing the same thing that got me through those four years of health issues," he said. "And if I can help make one person smile through this adventure, it's totally worth it."
To follow Jacques journey on his website and for more information, CLICK HERE.
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The road of life takes many twists and turns. It's filled with ups and downs -- and Sebastien Jacques knows that more than most.