La Crosse, Wisconsin (WXOW) ----- You just might have seen Chris Lezpona showing off his arms or just being a wise guy but you'll always find him pumping iron. "His determination is contagious and there's so many people up here at the Y and I'm sure it doesn't even stop at the Y that have been inspired by Chris' determination." Rick Cornforth works out at YMCA North. One day he offered Chris help which he soon found out was a bad idea. "I just went up and introduced myself to him one day and if you ever need any help up there it's not a big deal to ask. And he introduced himself as Chris and said you'll never find me asking for help."
"I am very stubborn with a lot of things. If I can't get something done I won't give up until the job I set out to do is finished." Chris Lezpona has always been determined, especially when it came to golf but after losing balance and his vision which doctors later discovered was from a brain tumor, he stopped playing.
His mother, Reggie Lezpona said removing the tumor was the only option. "They couldn't wake him up. (The tumor) was pushing on the nerve that controls the heart beat and his heart rate was dropping so we knew that he wouldn't last much longer."
Chris recovered from that surgery but needed another. His Mom said this surgery was a huge setback. "He was in the hospital for 3 months. He ended up in a wheelchair for a year and a half."
Rick Cornforth watched Chris progress from a wheelchair to a walker. "I'll never forget the day he came up to me I was busy working out and he said 'Hey, I have a favor. Would you walk me around the track?'"
Chris hopes to be a motivational speaker one day but if you ask anyone who knows him they'll say he already is. "If I were to give any advice to people I would say I just want people to be the best they can be despite what they're going through and that's all I would hope."
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