Lesley Grad is Personal Trainer, Life Coach, Entrepreneur… and Organ Donor

Editor’s Note:  Periodically, we like to let everyone know how our alums are doing.  Jeremy Colon graduated with a degree in Business Management in 2015. Here’s what he’s been up to:

There are always events in your life that change you, events that help you to grow or see life differently.  Before I graduated and started working for myself, the biggest stepping stone in my life occurred on July 31st, 2013.  That was when I made the decision to give my father one of my kidneys. This was not an easy decision for me to do but I knew it was the right thing to do. My father got diagnosed with an unknown virus in November of 2012 that left him physically and mentally weak, and feeling hopeless.  He didn’t break the news to my family till my 21st birthday on December 31st, 2012. When he told me we had to talk, I didn’t expect that the conversation would be about him dying slowly from the virus, and that he had less than a year to live unless someone donated a kidney to him. The doctors told him that he could wait for a donor but at the time, donors were not certain, and there was no exact time-table to how long the process would take, unless someone close to him could donate.

At the time, I was in my sophomore year at Lesley, studying business management; so you can imagine what my mind was going through, going to school and balancing my concern for my father.  Once I stepped up to the plate and made the decision to give him my kidney, I had to undergo a grueling and intensive 6 month of testing to see if I was a 100% match.  I was very fortunate to have great professors and a support system at Lesley to get me through this. At first, I was reluctant to ask for help but professors such as Robert McGrath and Donna Halper guided me to realize that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Professor Halper showing me to dig deep to find my inner strength and Professor McGrath introducing me to personal development.

 

Kidney donors were required to be at maximal health and physical condition, because the body had to adjust to living with one kidney. The testing consisted of blood drawing, kidney injections, psychological counseling, insurance meetings, and CAT scans. After months of testing and mentally draining and nervous, the testing concluded on June 2013 and the results were that I was a 100% match. Soon after the results, the kidney surgeon announced that July 31st at 5 am was when the operation would happen.

The testing really left an impact on me. During the procedures, all I could remember was being told that at any point I could say I didn’t want to do it, and it would be over. However, I knew I could not give up on my father. I owed my life to him  because his humble beginnings and the life he led are an inspiration, and they have helped me to be the selfless person I try to be today.  Even though I might have felt scared, I decided to turn my nervousness to optimism.  I wanted to save my father’s life, and on July 31st at 11 am, I was told the kidney transplant surgery was successful.  My father, Orlando Colon, was saved.  When I woke up from the transplant, the doctors said my kidney had not been rejected. They also said I was a hero for my actions.

A couple of months later, still recovering from the surgery, I started my junior year. Life was different, I felt different. The first week of school, I met with the deans, as well as my advisor at the time. Concerned about my well-being, they wanted to discuss possible class alternatives for me if classes were going to be stressful on my body (since I was still recovering). I could never forget how thankful and appreciative of their efforts I was;  I was very grateful that they cared about my future. Since I had all this support, I couldn’t allow myself to stop or slow down, so I went full force in completing my studies.

During the end of my junior year, I decided to pursue my personal training certification, and that pushed me to take classes that would help me today– these included Financial Accounting and Organizational Business.  I also found that Fitness has changed my life for the better, especially in the recovery process. I am committed to being healthy, because I want to do more for myself, my family, friends, and my community. I feel great about myself, and I am able to empower and push others to do the same.

Currently, I’ve had my own business for the last couple of years. I wear a number of hats:  I am a personal trainer, a life coach, and the founder of Jeremy Colon Enterprises, which is a physical fitness professional center in Dorchester. We offer a whole person approach to Total Body Transformation.   I am now looking to expand my team as well as get a bigger location.  And I also haven’t forgotten my promise to give to others.  On November 5th, I will be participating in the TFK NYC Marathon. My goal is not only to finish the marathon, but also to raise at least $2,600 for the New York Road Runners youth programs by running with Team for Kids.  To sum up, graduating from Lesley has definitely equipped me with not only the education tools, but also the professional skills necessary for me to run a business and be successful.

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