MANCHESTER, England - Javeno McLean has never been personally affected by a disability or a disease, but that hasn’t stopped his heart from having compassion towards those who do.
The 37-year-old former athlete owns and runs J7 Community Health Centre in the Manchester, England, area. He said he had a vision for the gym about 15 years ago and made it a reality when he opened the doors five years ago.
"I was a cricket player, and I found out later on that I got more enjoyment out of what I can do to other people than myself as an athlete," he told FOX Television Stations.
Part of his clientele includes those who suffer and have recovered from various forms of physical disabilities and illnesses, such as cancer and dementia.
Javeno McLean (Javeno McLean)
For them, McLean said he doesn’t charge a penny for his services and hasn’t done that for 21 years in his work as a trainer.
"They’re going through something un[in]describable, so the least I can do is put on a smile on your face, make you happy, and if you come out of that tunnel, let me bring you to some light," he added.
"I created J7 with a vision that life-changing health and fitness and well-being should be available to everybody despite age, ability, race," he said. "Everybody should have the opportunity to improve their health and fitness."
McLean said he offers a "menu" of exercises that even a whole family can enjoy including a mix of mobility exercises.
While McLean said he doesn’t have a personal testimony that relates to his business model, he believes the idea stemmed from his upbringing in Jamaica.
"In my islands, we ain’t got nothing," he said. "So when you come from a place where nobody has nothing, only thing you can give is yourself."
McLean said he sees about 50 clients per week who have some sort of ailment. He understands why other trainers would charge more because the fitness programming is more difficult.
"When I say ‘free’ they are blown away...and it makes me want to go even harder," he continued.
"It’s a privilege, and it’s an honor so I’m going to do my best to make sure that I do it justice because you’re giving me your life to improve," he said.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.