Sportress of Blogitude

Man used in Stephen Curry lookalike meme a cancer survivor


A man whose photograph was used in a Stephen Curry lookalike meme actually is a cancer survivor who fought back over “how distasteful and cruel people can be without background knowledge of the person in the bullseye of the target.”

Leon Mitchell, a 31-year-old from Tacoma, Wash., battled a rare form of throat and nose cancer whose appearance was drastically altered due to chemotherapy in 2005.

A photo of his gaunt appearance was callously utilized in a “Meth Curry” meme, likening the devastating effects the treatments had on his outward appearance to how the Golden State Warriors superstar might look had he developed a drug addiction.

The meme found its way back to Mitchell who was rightfully offended. And despite being mocked and ridiculed over his understandable reaction, he took to Instagram and posted a defiant, courageous and touching message.

A photo posted by Leon Mitchell II (@mr_knoe) on

So earlier today I was the butt of a not so funny meme “METH CURRY” directed at the outward physical appearance that I display. The fact that the meme was posted was a reminder of how distasteful and cruel people can be without background knowledge of the person in the bullseye of the target.

I’ve struggled deeply for years with the devastating effects cancer treatment plagued my body with. The massive destruction it took on my neck, shoulders, nose, throat, and ability to function normally. I though have overcome all of those things and become so much stronger then the after effects of cancer treatment, and proudly bare myself and ravaged appearance to the world with KNOE shame!! I am strong enough to endure these attacks after years of rebuilding.

However as we look at the power story I explain, let’s remember these types of social media attacks on people can be massively detrimental to some who still battle with insecurities and uncomfortability with themselves and their battles. If we are going to allow something like this go viral Let’s do it for the right reasons!

I am more then a meme, I am a father, husband, survivor, mentor, community advocate, and Positive motivational speaker. Proud to have endured and conquered everything I have!!!!

As noted in a New York Post on the story, Mitchell has begun to receive support on social media for the courageous defense of his dignity. At least that means that something positive has emerged from such a disappointing story.

(top image via New York Post)