An Inspiring Story of Never Giving Up: Joe Dulay – A Once Paralyzed Triathlete.

Just this year, I sent a friend request to Kuya Joe Dulay on Facebook, a fellow alumni of Holy Rosary Academy. He is 3 batches ahead of me. If I’m not mistaken he is from Batch 1996 while me is from Batch 1999. I was browsing some pictures on Facebook maybe reminiscing, trying to find common names, long-lost friends or alumni of Our Lady of Manaog College formerly Holy Rosary Academy and it happened that I stumbled upon Kuya Joe’s picture together with Ate Mae Salinas-Escalante or better known as Goldamae back in high school days in a triathlete suit. See the photo below, isn’t it great to see them again after long years.

A photo grabbed from Ate Mae. From right to left: Kuya Joe, Ate Mae & her hubby.

What I like most is that Kuya Joe is into swim, bike and run and so I immediately sent a friend request to him via Facebook and he accepted it. He started to ask questions and we get to know each other and then eventually we started to talk about triathlon because we both love outdoor sports and that’s either running, swim or biking.

I’m not much into swimming but I know how to swim like a dog haha. With biking, don’t you know that I sell pandesal – a bun to the neighborhood of Dagupan City every morning when I was a kid and attending classes with just a bike as my transportation and ended up graduating in college. I also use my bike going to a part-time work before I finally decided to settle in Metro Manila. So biking and running has no problem with me, I greatest worry is about the swim, I don’t have any formal swimming lessons and dog style swim doesn’t gonna make it in IronMan Philippines haha. 🙂

Going back to the my topic, I didn’t know about Kuya Joe’s real condition after I read this article just today in where he posted in HRA/OLMC Facebook group and on the said blog the story started with something like this.

“If death is our biggest fear, Joe Dulay has little to fear. He knows how he’s going to die.”


His brain is going to bleed from a condition he was born with, occult cerebrovascular malformations—an abnormal connection between arteries and veins that causes blood to leak into the brain when a rupture occurs. Leaked blood in the brain can mean loss of consciousness, severe headaches, or paralysis. When blood builds up in the skull it can create too much pressure—crushing brain tissue, and limiting blood supply.

This will kill him.


But before you tell him what to do, you better have a strong case. He doesn’t listen to everything he’s told.


A Risky Surgery

In 2001 Dulay’s doctors attempted a risky surgery to stop his brain from bleeding. The surgery’s survival rate: Only 40 percent. And even if he did survive, the possible outcomes—becoming comatose, a vegetable, or permanently paralyzed—weren’t ideal. Continue reading the rest of Kuya Joe’s story HERE.

Kuya Joe Dulay: Always Smile and Never Give Up!

As of this writing, Kuya Joe has many plans like if he will go back here in the Philippines, he wanted to join IronMan is Cebu and then conduct a triathlon camp in our hometown Manaoag, Pangasinan and I am surely will be part of that camp no matter what and looking forward to my first ever triathlon.

His story of never giving up inspired me to continue what I love. For now, I will focus on trail running then later on switch to 3 disciplines: Swim, Bike and Run. Good luck to you Kuya Joe and Mabuhay ka! You never give up! Walang Iwanan! Hoooo Haaaaa!

Source: Photos Credits: From Kuya Joe Dulay’s Facebook Albums

About Kalongkong Hiker

I am Paolo Mercado for 20 years I've been riding a bike, walking a lot and running a lot. I am Kalongkong Hiker, a trail runner, mountaineer and a biker that can also write a blog of my travels, adventures and places that I visited through walking, running and biking. I write to encourage others to stay healthy and fit. #KeepOnRunning #ShareTheRoad #KalongkongHiker
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