Jay Hewitt is a proud father and a brave man who participated in the Ironman triathlon and finished it in 14 hours despite undergoing 2 brain surgeries, 30 sessions of radiation, and a year of chemotherapy.
He says he was inspired by his daughter, the 7-year-old Hero.
Hewitt who’s 39 said that he first saw an Ironman race on TV in 1989 and remembers thinking ‘these people must be super humans’.
However, little did he know that he will become one of those ‘super humans’.
The Best Dad: A Real Life Super Human
After he got a daughter in 2015, he remembered seeing the competition; he made a decision to compete in an Ironman suit when his daughter is 10 years old.
His goal was to show her that she can achieve anything she decides to.
Sadly, when Hero was only 3 years old, in 2018, her dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. So, he started to train for the competition much sooner than he had planned.
He remembers his first chemo and radiotherapy in 2019, August, when he also begun training.
But, because of the pandemic, the race was cancelled. Still, Hewitt contacted the organizers and suggested participating in the Ironman VR Kona virtual race.
He explains he designed his own course in his town and plotted the finish line right in front of his garage. He wanted to have a sense of coming home which would be his driving force throughout the race.
A Father that Deserves all the Praise in the World
In October last year, he started a 2-mile swim in Newport Beach’s Back Bay. Then, he biked 112 miles before he ran the 26.2 miles.
The race was very challenging, especially considering his health and treatments he was undergoing. The chemo wrecked his digestive system and he was unable to properly digest water and food.
He felt nauseous all the time, but pushed through. He had excessive stomach ache that he threw up at one point.
When he was around the corner of the finish line, after 13 hours and 40 minutes, he was amazed to see hundreds of people cheering him on.
But, seeing his daughter waiting for him was the most special and he said it was all worth it when he saw her face.
When he reached the tape, he gave his wife a kiss and handed her and his daughter flowers, and got down on his knees. He hugged Hero and told her that ‘if I can do it, you can do it. Dream big and never give up’.
He later told her that it was really difficult to reach the end point, but the thought of her waiting for him there gave him all the strength he needed.