While at USC, Malcolm Smith was diagnosed with achalasia, a rare disorder of the esophagus that causes difficulty swallowing and regurgitation and is found in 1 of 100,000 people. Smith lost 30 pounds because of frequent vomiting while trying to eat, had the problem corrected with surgery, and fell to the seventh round of the draft, where his former college coach, Pete Carroll, threw him a life preserver.
Smith still has dietary restrictions — he must eat slowly, take a sip of water between every bite, and can’t eat rice, tuna or peanut butter.
“It’s definitely something that a lot of people still don’t understand to this day,” Smith told the Orange County Register in 2010. “They’re like, ‘Why are you eating by yourself?’ ”
This is pretty deep and it makes you smile to see that he accomplished what others can only dream about.