Cystic Fibrosis sufferer beats the odds to become award-winning bodybuilder and aims to become 'Mr Universe'
22:03 GMT, 6 May 2012
A cystic fibrosis sufferer has bulked up to become an award-winning bodybuilder in an attempt to prolong his life.
Jonny Simpson, 25, transformed himself from a seven stone weakling to win the title of 'Mr Athletic' 2012 and now has his sights set on becoming 'Mr Universe.'
Weightlifter Jonny, a chef by trade, took up bodybuilding six years ago in a defiant bid to overcome his cystic fibrosis symptoms and prove that anything is possible.
Transformation: Cystic Fibrosis sufferer Jonny Simpson has bulked up and earnt the title Mr Athletic 2012 – it is a far cry from how he looked before his training
Cystic fibrosis – or CF as it is known – is an inherited condition caused by a faulty gene that affects around 8,500 people in the UK.
It attacks the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus, making it hard to breathe and digest food.
The life expectancy of those with the condition is 36 to 38 years, but Jonny is determined to live well beyond this.
Jonny, from Penrith in Cumbria, joined a gym and taken up jujitsu he discovered a passion for weight-lifting – and he's never looked back.
Motivated: Jonny Simpson has bulked up to become an award winning bodybuilder in an attempt to prolong his life
He said: 'Six years ago when I first took it up I weighed just 7st and had really bad lung function, when they start considering you for a lung transplant.
'They didn't think I'd live past my 20s.
'Now I'm more than 11st and I'm 25, living my life to the full and I don't think people would know I even had cystic fibrosis unless they see the scars from where I've had to have operations.
'There's so many health benefits so I would like to develop my website into a proper business, encouraging others to follow my regime.
'I want to be a bodybuilding champion and I really feel like I've beaten the odds.'
And last week saw his biggest achievement as he was crowned 'Mr Atheletic 2012.'
He said: 'I won the Mr Athletic category in the Mr Elite competition.
'It's not the biggest of wins, but I'm really pleased because it's my first win.
'It was an online contest, where entrants had to get votes from people, and I got the most.
'Next up is the qualifiers for Mr Universe which happen in November in Manchester and if I get through that I'll get to compete in Europe.'