Cam Ayala, who starred in episodes of The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, had his leg amputated. Look at what he has shared about his motivational journey.
After a lifelong battle with lymphedema, a chronic disease that results in the accumulation of fluid in soft tissues and causes swelling in the arms and legs, Cam, who appeared on the 15th season of The Bachelorette and the sixth season of Bachelor in Paradise in 2019, recently had his right leg amputated.
On June 24, Cam posted on Instagram images and videos of herself recovering from surgery, one of which showed her using a walker to navigate the Texas Medical Center’s hallways.
From behind the camera, a friend can be heard praising Cam and saying, “Great job, man.”
Since childhood, Ayala Has Battled the Condition
Ayala made a lengthy Instagram post in December 2018 in which he disclosed further details regarding his illness.
He revealed that at the age of 12, in 2002, he received a lymphedema diagnosis. Although the illness is incurable, he managed to somewhat control it. But he endured “many nights of agonizing pain, swelling, and mental anguish.”
Due to the problems with the condition, his medical team advised him to amputate his leg in 2014. “I was paralyzed with fear and worry at the possibility of losing my limb.”
Fortunately, he was spared because of a treatment performed in December 2016 at Boston Children’s Hospital.
But that didn’t mean Ayala’s struggle was done. Intense agony after an April 2021 operation left him learning “how to walk again for the 14th time in my life,” he wrote on Instagram. “The past 2.5 weeks have by far been the most challenging in my 32 years of livin’ on this” he said on Instagram a week later.
Ayala was still in danger despite his recovery.
In an effort to spread awareness of lymphedema and discuss his decision to have an amputation, Cam linked up with Oscar winner Kathy Bates, who also has the ailment, earlier this month.
It’s been interesting talking about all the ghosts and demons in my past while genuinely battling loss and pain, he said, according to People.com. “I understand that planned amputations differ significantly from sporadic amputations, but I also understand that God has a greater plan and purpose for all of this,” the speaker said.
Cam, who had lymphedema from birth, underwent 16 procedures over a period of seven years before deciding to have an amputation. He described meeting the American Horror Story actress, who underwent a double mastectomy in 2012 after being diagnosed with breast cancer and developing lymphedema, as a “life-changing” experience.
He said, “I just had such a sense of connection, like she’s my lymphedema sister.” We both share the same alignment and objective, which is to assist as many individuals with lymphedema as we can. She has experienced many of the same difficulties and tribulations as I have.
Cam presently serves as the Director of Development and Marketing at LE&RN (Lymphatic Education & Research Network), a nonprofit organization that uses advocacy, research, and education to fight lymphedema and other lymphatic diseases.