Augustana wrestler reflects on his biggest challenge: a bout with cancer

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - For Adarios Jones, wrestling is everything.

"Every day I wake up, it's a blessing," Jones says.

Until a diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer, became his unexpected opponent.

"When [wrestling] got taken away from me, I really had to find to an extent something to hold onto that wasn't wrestling because at the time I couldn't wrestle," he remembers.

A few years later, he's in remission and is competing for Augustana College.

Tony Willaert, Augie's Head Coach, says Jones has overcome adversity.

"It's crazy how not only wrestlers but people in general can overcome stuff like that with the support and the right mindset and the right attitude," he adds.

Jones says his biggest support has come from his former high school.

"Without Moline and the backing of the wrestling community, I don't know if I would have gotten through it," Jones says. "At least to the point that I did where I'm standing here strong as I am."

The heavyweight wrestler carries a little more weight than most D-3 wrestlers.

"Because it's such a mental sport, I think all it did was make me stronger for wrestling," Jones believes. "I don't think I would have gotten through it without wrestling."

Jones is ready for whatever his next challenge may be. He has a goal to become a D-III national champion.

"It's because of what happened to me that I go out there thinking 'well how tough can someone who's 285 pounds really be? versus my life?'"