Jarvez was born to a single mother who had sickle cell anemia. He was a miracle baby and, as an only child, everyone thought he was spoiled. But he spent much of his childhood taking care of his mom. He would sleep on the couch or the floor in order to be in the room with her to check on her throughout the night. At first, being big was a good thing because as his mother got sicker, she could not
walk. If she fell he was the only one who could pick her up and carry her. When his mother became so ill that she could not cook, his aunt moved in to help. She would not get off work until late at night so they would often eat dinner at midnight.
Eating out soon became a way of life for them. It was also a way for him to feel close to his mom, an act he continues to this day since his mom passed away.
Jarvez realizes that he never properly mourned the loss of his mom – he was only 17 when she died and he copes by eating.
Growing up Jarvez was on the football, basketball, and track team. Being the big guy was cool. His freshman year of high school Jarvez was 300lbs. Teammates and coaches were cheering because they had a 300-pounder on the team. Jarvez was so successful, he was recruited to Oregon State University, where he was on the 2001 Fiesta Bowl Team with famous NFL players like TJ Houshmanzedah and Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson.
The weight really became a problem after Jarvez quit football his 2nd year of college. Quitting the team was hard on him and he got very depressed. It took away all his motivation to go to the gym.
It was finally just last year, after he met his fiancé Adriana, that Jarvez finally decided he needed to reclaim his health. With this new woman in his life, Jarvez finally had a reason to turn his life around – and is more determined than ever to be around for his new wife – who loves him despite his weight.
After writing a letter to Chris Powell, Jarvez was selected for the second season of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition where he lost 142lbs in the first three months alont and over 280 lbs overall. That is more than 51% of his body weight in only one year. Now, he seeks to share his story of triumph and perseverance with the world.