Charlie Jabaley

Courtesy: @charlie on Instagram

Man's Battle With Brain Tumor Becomes Nike's Inspiration

Charlie Jabaley walked away from a million dollar business to inspire others

February 13, 2018 - 4:39 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Charlie Jabaley is on a mission to transform one million lives.

Jabaley travelled the world while working in the music industry as a manager for popular hip-hop artists, and as he explains, while his business was getting bigger, his body was getting bigger. At his heaviest, Jabaley weighed 304 pounds.

He was running a $15 million a year business and says he had everything he ever wanted - money, success and even a GRAMMY - when he decided to walk away from it all. The decision came after Jabaley was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

"When I got sick, and diagnosed with a brain tumor, and felt like I was about to die...none of that meant anything to me," Jabaley tells KMOX's Mark Reardon. "I wanted to reinvent my entire life."

That's when Jabaley developed his super hero alter-ego Charlie Rocket - the man who was going to save his life and help him reinvent himself into the athlete he dreamed of becoming as an 8-year-old boy.

"I wanted to be an athlete, but I was a chubby kid," Jabaley explains.

He started exercising, eating right and embodying the lifestyle of an athlete. Jabaley now weighs 185 pounds and says he still has a few more pounds to drop. His goal was to run the IRONMAN Triathalon in New Zealand.

"I wanted to pick the biggest, boldest thing," Jabaley says.

His journey toward this big, bold goal has been taking shape over the last 10 months.

Jabaley put together the video below in hopes of getting the attention of Nike:

His goal was to inspire others to reach their goals.

"Nike has a mission statement that really inspires me, it says, 'If you have a body, then you're an athlete'" Jabaley explains. "And I felt like that resonated with me and I wanted to make a story that inspires people and I said on the video, 'I hope Nike sees this.'"

Jabaley published his video on January 28th and in just two weeks, it got one million views on Facebook. Shortly after, Jabaley got an email from Nike that said, "You have our entire campus in a frenzy."

Nike shared Jabaley's video on their Twitter account, which has more than 7 million followers, and told him they wanted to fly him to Portland to meet with the entire Nike staff. Jabaley made the trip last Friday.

"I walk into this big boardroom, and they have all these executives and employees there and a big TV on the wall with me on it," Jabaley says. "They gave a presentation to me, about me, about how I inspired them as a company and why they go to work every day. They said, 'Sometimes we forget - with our deadlines and our deliverables and meetings - why we come to work.' And when they saw my video, it reminded them and inspired them."

They loaded Jabaley up with Nike gear, exclusive shoes and gave him the opportunity to work out with the Nike master trainers.

"Nike is the most human company I could ever imagine. They cared about me and I never would have expected that from such a big company," Jabaley says.

Jabaley will run the New Zealand IRONMAN race in March and then plans to bike across the country in April to find others with second-chance stories like his own.

Hear Jabaley's entire interview on the Mark Reardon Show below and follow his journey on Instagram @charlie: