Former Biggest Loser Contestant Daniel Wright Dead at 30
Wright, who competed on the seventh season of NBC’s weight-loss reality series, died on Sunday morning from leukemia, several of his Biggest Loser costars confirmed on social media.
“I am so so heartbroken to hear about Daniel Wright this morning. He has fought SO HARD during his battle with cancer & more,” former contestant Courtney Crozier Respess wrote on Facebook. “This man is one of the kindest people I have ever met & is a true difference maker in this world!”
“His faith has never faded, even in the darkest of times. I am honored to have known him!!!” she continued of her friend, who was married to former Biggest Loser contestant Rebecca Meyer Wright.
“Please keep him & his beautiful, amazing, and beyond strong wife Rebecca Wright in your prayers today as he is being called to heaven,” Respess continued. “Rebecca will need all of us to lift her up now & for the months & years to come.”
First diagnosed in October 2017, Wright had started to return to work and regain some normalcy in his life when he relapsed with a more severe case of leukemia in December 2018, according to his GoFundMe page.
Within 24 hours of relapsing, Wright was transported by ambulance to an Iowa City hospital, where he spent nearly four weeks dealing with “fevers, infections, low blood counts, chemotherapy side effects, and attempts with immunotherapy treatments,” the GoFundMe reads.
As he continued his health struggle, Wright’s wife would often give updates on her Facebook page.
Rebecca’s most recent post came on May 24, just two days before Wright passed away, where she explained that her husband was undergoing treatment after noticing blood in his vomit.
“Yesterday, the Lord broke me down & today because of your prayers & my pleading our Lord has made me warrior strong!! I will let you know when they will be doing the procedure as soon as I know,” she wrote. “He is much more alert today but still quite foggy… Man alive this is insane & alone seems impossible but with GOD all things are possible🙌🏼🙌🏼 THANK YOU for your prayers & well wish I adore you all!!!!”
Since his passing, several former Biggest Loser contestants have spoken out on social media and shared their condolences.
“Please keep Rebecca Wright and her family in your thoughts and prayers. After a long heroic fight, my fellow Biggest Loser and Browns fan Daniel Wright is at peace now in our Lord and Saviors arms,” he wrote. “He was a hero and a man of faith who inspired so many, including me, during his short time on this earth.”
“He and his lovely bride showed the whole world what true love, faith and commitment are all about and he will be truly missed,” Mitchell added.
Season 8 winner Danny Cahill also wrote a sweet note to his friend on Facebook.
In his touching tribute, Cahill said the pals met for the first time in May 2009 while on the television series’ eighth season and went on to speak to his grit, determination and love.
“Yesterday the world lost a bit of its light. Daniel Wright and I met for the first time in May of 2009 on the beach in Malibu,” he began. “15 of us went to the beach that morning to begin our journey on season 8 of The Biggest Loser. Our 16th contestant was driven up to the starting position of that first 1-mile race (which he won) and out popped Daniel. ‘Hey guys!!!’ He yelled as he jogged over to us.”
“Little did I know the effect this man would have on my life. As the picture shows, he never missed a chance to double back and encourage every soul in the fight of their lives to keep going, and ensure us we would make it. He gave me so many gifts, not only there, but in years after.”
“Daniel’s light has always been one of Grace, encouragement, wisdom, love and honor throughout the time I have known him. And I can honestly say that because of him I am a better man,” he continued. “He showed me (by example – not by telling me) how to care for others in a different way, and I thank God for being able to know this man for the 10 years I have known him.”
“We could all learn a lesson from him how important it is to leave a mark of love on those we meet, to lay down differences and to see similarities, and to serve those around us in any way we can,” Cahill finished. “I love you Daniel, I love you Rebecca, and I pray for your peace in this time of loss.”
Producers for the show shared their sadness at the news of Wright’s passing in a statement shared with PEOPLE.
“Daniel Wright epitomized what it means to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser, inspiring millions of viewers when he was on the show and many more with his recent battle with cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Rebecca and their extended family and friends.”