The Biggest Loser was an extremely popular show when it aired, as it gave people a whole new look at reality TV. It was raw, it was real, it was emotional, and it showed us that hard work can pay off. All of the contestants were working towards a better version of themselves, and most of them accomplished that.
Sadly, season seven contestant Daniel Wright won his battle against his weight, but ultimately lost his battle against cancer. Wright passed away from leukemia at the age of 30 on Sunday, news which was confirmed by several of his Biggest Loser co-stars. This past December, Wright relapsed with a severe case of leukemia, after having beaten the disease already in October of 2017. A GoFundMe page was set up for Wright by his sister Deanna Thomas, which explained the situation.
It's hard to believe it has been 15 months since Daniel's first diagnosis in October 16, 2017. Daniel and Rebecca [Daniel's wife] could not have made it through the past 15 months without God's faithfulness and the prayers and support of so many dear family and friends.
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Daniel and Rebecca had just started getting some semblance of their life back after the initial debilitating treatments. Daniel was back at work while going through the beginning of 2 years of maintenance chemo and he and Rebecca were starting to be able to more actively participate in their beloved church and community group again. Then, around Christmas, we discovered Daniel's leukemia had relapsed.
The mountain is now much bigger as relapsed leukemia is harder to beat. There are limited options, but we have a big God! This road keeps getting longer and harder for Daniel and Rebecca. However, a favorite saying is "˜Never give up!'. And #TeamDaniel is ready to fight again! Within 24 hours of the relapse, Daniel was taken by ambulance to Iowa City about 2 hours from their home. Daniel and Rebecca have spent the last 3 1/2 weeks in the hospital dealing with fever, infection, low blood counts, chemo side effects, and trying a new immunotherapy treatment, Blincyto.
Unfortunately, Blincyto caused some dangerous side effects and it had to be stopped. Due to the side effects Daniel experienced, he was unable to restart Blincyto, which meant his options were even more limited. Thankfully, Daniel is back in stable condition and was referred to a hospital in St. Louis for a promising new CAR-T Cell therapy. CAR-T is only FDA approved for younger patients through age 25, so the hope and prayer is for him to get accepted in one of the CAR-T Cell adult trials at St. Louis.
The current treatment plan is to achieve remission again with CAR-T Cell therapy, and then receive a stem cell transplant. We wish that all Rebecca and Daniel had to focus on is fighting this awful disease, but unfortunately the reality is they also face the burden of putting jobs on hold, bearing mounting medical expenses, and now expenses with treatment in another city away from home.Many have asked what more they can do to help.
Prayer is the utmost need, as they desperately need miracles and divine strength to face what lies ahead. Some have been asking about a GoFundMe, so I am sharing the GoFundMe that was started with his initial diagnosis. As you can imagine, the financial burden is truly great if you feel lead to lift them up in this way.
Despite the incredibly difficult challenges they have faced with relapse, they have seen evidence of God at work in miraculous ways. Thank you for being a part of #TeamDaniel and helping keep the faith and the fight! We are so thankful for each and every one of you! Love to All!
Courtney Crozier, one of Wright's former co-stars, posted her condolences on Facebook.
I am so so heartbroken to hear about Daniel Wright this morning. He has fought SO HARD during his battle with cancer & more. This man is one of the kindest people I have ever met & is a true difference maker in this world! His faith has never faded, even in the darkest of times. I am honored to have known him!!!
Please keep him & his beautiful, amazing, and beyond strong wife Rebecca Wright in your prayers today as he is being called to heaven. ðŸ’•
Rebecca will need all of us to lift her up now & for the months & years to come.
I am also posting their GoFundMe today, as I know Rebecca will need all of our thoughts, prayers, & love so much, but the donations can really help her during this beyond difficult time as well. Please donate and/or share if you can!
Joe Mitchell, a contestant on season 12, also expressed his sadness.
Please keep Rebecca Wright and her family in your thoughts and prayers. After a long heroic fight, my fellow Biggest Loser and Browns fan Daniel Wright is at peace now in our Lord and Saviors arms. He was a hero and a man of faith who inspired so many, including me, during his short time on this earth. He and his lovely bride showed the whole world what true love faith and commitment are all about and he will be truly missed.
Danny Cahill, the winner of season eight, was very close with Wright, and said the world lost "a bit of its light" after Wright's passing.
Yesterday the world lost a bit of its light. Daniel Wright and I met for the first time in May of 2009 on the beach in Malibu. 15 of us went to the beach that morning to begin our journey on season 8 of The Biggest Loser.
Our 16th contestant was driven up to the starting position of that first 1-mile race (which he won) and out popped Daniel. "Hey guys!!!" He yelled as he jogged over to us. Little did I know the effect this man would have on my life. As the picture shows, he never missed a chance to double back and encourage every soul in the fight of their lives to keep going, and ensure us we would make it. He gave me so many gifts, not only there, but in years after.
In week 6 when we went home on the way to the airport, he described a girl he was in love with. I remember him asking, "Danny, what do I do if she doesn't know I love her?" And I said "Tell her. The worst that will happen is a no, but never knowing will be worse than a no." I had no idea he was talking about Rebecca Wright!
I was honored to be in his and and Rebecca's wedding a few years later, which our buddy Sean Algaier officiated. I watched him choose Shay Jones as his partner on the show, because he had been where she stood - "what kind of wisdom is this for such a young man" I thought! And what a team they were!
Daniel's light has always been one of Grace, encouragement, wisdom, love and honor throughout the time I have known him. And I can honestly say that because of him I am a better man. He showed me (by example - not by telling me) how to care for others in a different way, and I thank God for being able to know this man for the 10 years I have known him.
We could all learn a lesson from him how important it is to leave a mark of love on those we meet, to lay down differences and to see similarities, and to serve those around us in any way we can. I love you Daniel, I love you Rebecca, and I pray for your peace in this time of loss.
You can clearly see that Wright was beloved by everyone he came in contact with. His legacy of love and laughter will live on.