TACOMA -- A cancer survivor found himself at the center of a cruel Internet joke.
Now the Tacoma man is speaking out to make sure the world knows the real story behind the meme.
Leon Mitchell knows a thing or two about life. The 31-year-old husband and father of two has been cancer-free for five years now. But the disease took a toll on his body.
"It wasn't until a few years ago that I finally came to terms with it and saw it as my badge of honor" Mitchell said.
A badge of honor that someone turned into a cruel joke. A picture of Leon began circulating on social media with the caption, "Meth Curry", comparing Mitchell's thin neck with the frail frame of a meth user and his resemblance to NBA star Stephen Curry.
"I've been told I resemble Stephen Curry. I've been told that. But when I saw there was ill intentions behind it, it was hurtful. It was embarrassing," Mitchell said.
But for a man who defied cancer, a viral picture is no match.
"I can't be mad at someone for doing something that they don`t know anything about," Mitchell said.
He is also the creator of the KNOE campaign. It stands for Knot Now Or Ever, a mantra he clung to as he battled cancer and a message he shares now as a motivational speaker.
"It's a lifestyle. It`s a mindset. It`s a way of thinking, of living," Mitchell said.
Leon created his own meme and posted it on his instagram account, "Mr_Knoe".
"I think people really need to be more attentive to the power they have behind that screen," Mitchell said. So if you didn't know the man in the meme before, now you KNOE.
"If it helps one person, then none of my struggles have gone in vain," Mitchell said.
For more information on Leon Mitchell and the KNOE campaign click here: http://www.knoeclothing.com/