Only a few days before his 26th birthday, unbeaten junior middleweight boxer Omar Henry died on Friday, February 1 due to complications from gall bladder cancer at the young age of 25.
He passed away at the University of Chicago hospital where he was getting treatment and from where he still regularly communicated with fans via Facebook and Twitter, hopeful he would overcome the life-threatening illness.
Henry was first diagnosed with Stage 4 gall bladder cancer a few days before the biggest fight of his career.
Upon experiencing severe abdominal pain a few days before his November 2012 fight with Juan Ubaldo Cabrera in South Florida, Henry was pulled out of the scheduled match and instead rushed to the emergency room of a nearby hospital, where he learned about his terminal illness.
In his last Facebook message last January 27, Henry remained optimistic despite his debilitating disease. "While lm in this current state I am fighting with my family by my side and I will not go down for the count. I am a champion who has chosen to fight not just for myself but for those who's faith is believing in what u cant see, and i will continue to fight!!!!!and fight!!!!!and fight!!!!!till I knock this sickness out," he wrote.
Henry held a 12-0-1 record before he succumbed to cancer.
He recalled not being able to detect the symptoms prior to being diagnosed, thinking the pain he was suffering was brought on by his rigid training. "Looking back, I guess there were symptoms back in California (where he had been training), but when you're in training there are always aches and pains that you try to ignore," he said. When he got diagnosed, his cancer was already in its late stages, which had already caused his liver to enlarge.