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Jamie Mushlin, survivor, author and owner of Red Fitness Lounge

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Brain Tumor Survivor:

'Keep Pushing Forward Even During Setbacks,' Encourages Strength Coach Jamie Mushlin

When a tumor the size of a Nerf football attaches itself to one's brainstem and an ear canal, it's clearly a serious condition beyond not being able to hear so well. Left untreated, an acoustic neuroma can be fatal. Racing against time becomes the utmost priority.

For the past three decades as a certified personal trainer, St. Louis native Jamie Mushlin helped others transform their bodies. But when Jamie turned toward transforming his own body back to health after surviving a life-threatening brain tumor removal surgery, it also took every ounce of his mental strength.

He was in the hospital for five days post-surgery and lost 47 pounds. The procedure left him with permanent vertigo and hearing loss in his left ear, but it also left him with gratitude and the will to fight to survive. "I wasn't ready to leave my wife," Jamie recalls. 

"Do not give up," is Jamie's New Year's battle cry to all who are feeling deeply discouraged due to COVID-19 grief, material losses, restrictions and worries. 

"This pandemic is the biggest wakeup call we may ever see in our lives. Nothing ever comes easy. You have to keep telling yourself to be mind strong, body strong. Stay healthy, stay positive. Dial in your mindset to cement with yourself that you can succeed," the 50-year-old adds.  

While writing his upcoming book, Adversity University:  We Grow Through What We Go Through, Jamie says he realized he could reach out to others to teach them how to conquer things within their control. "For those things out of your control, you can recover. We can have the best year ever in 2021," proclaims the owner of Clayton-based Red Fitness Lounge, a boutique small-group training gym.

He says he hopes to get the book completed by this March, and to go on a speaking tour later this year.

"Also, don't hesitate to get your health checked. When I couldn't hear in my left ear, I thought it was from years of yelling and working in loud gyms. My wife insisted that I have it looked at. But my ear doctor ordered an MRI, just making sure. Two months later, I was in a 15-hour surgery for a brain tumor. That simple hearing test saved my life," states Jamie. 

His head surgery was on Nov. 5, 2014. Instead of the 16- to 32-week recovery period, he was back into the gym after two weeks. But, the quick-healing super trainer -- nicknamed the Man of Steel by his medical team and family -- unfortunately suffered a staph infection nine months later and had to survive a second skull surgery. 

"So, I had to remind myself that we don't always get what we want. And that's OK, we don't have to be sad about it. We just have to get into the mindset of getting through it and overcoming it," Jamie says, who pledges to help others get through their own challenges. 

"The tumor caused me to look at life very differently. There are only two relationships that really, really count in life -- the one you have with the person immediately in your life and the one you have with yourself," asserts Jamie. "It's more important to appreciate the people in your life and what they're meant to be for you and with you."

Now Jamie's one more checkup scan away this year from being considered medically tumor-free from a surprise ordeal that started six years ago, and he's emotionally rock solid.

  • Jamie Mushlin, survivor, author and owner of Red Fitness Lounge
  • Jamie Mushlin, survivor, author and owner of Red Fitness Lounge
  • Jamie Mushlin, survivor, author and owner of Red Fitness Lounge