The man who was recently targeted in a viral meme entitled "Meth Curry" is 31-year-old Leon Mitchell II.
Mitchell is a survivor of a rare form of cancer known as nasopharyngeal carcinoma, not a crackhead or meth addict who may have a slight likeness to NBA superstar Steph Curry.
This is the meme making the rounds recently, comparing Mitchell's appearance to that of a drugged-up Curry.
LOCAL NEWS: Man used in "METH CURRY" meme a cancer survivor from Tacoma. https://t.co/uCDg5U9jNU pic.twitter.com/yYRN5Z9VN0 — KUBE 93 Seattle (@KUBE93) January 7, 2016
Mitchell posted a heartfelt and courageous message to Instagram in response to the "distasteful and cruel" depiction.
Mitchell's Instagram caption said,
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!!!! #FCANCER #F*CKCANCER #SURVIVOR #TEAMKNOE #KNOTNOWOREVER #AMERICANCANCERSOCIETY #STUARTSCOTT #POSITIVITY #LOVE #LIVESTRONG #POSITIVITYOVEREVERYTHING #FIGHT #FIGHTER #NBA #SICK #METHCURRY
The photo one cruel individual used to make the "Meth Curry" meme was taken while Mitchell was undergoing chemotherapy. Now, Leon Mitchell is a model father, husband and business owner.
It's a shame he had to respond to such a viral post, but he did so eloquently and bravely. Leon Mitchell should be an inspiration to everyone.