The star of “My Name is” and the “Rescue Me” reality show is taking part in a major body modification program.
“I am now undergoing the first phase of my transformation,” the 43-year-old actor tells PEOPLE exclusively.
“It is a very large and complex program, but it is something I feel I am going to be able to get on with, because it is such a natural thing to do and I have been doing it for so long.”
In a new interview with PEOPLE, the actor reveals how he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and how his transition to a more “normal” body has affected his life.
“It is hard to explain,” he says.
“There are a lot of things that I have done in my life that have changed my life for the better and it has changed the way I think and what I believe.”
But it’s not just the body that has changed, it is the mind, the spirit, everything.
“He adds, “I am feeling much more at peace and I feel like I have made some real changes in my personal life and I am just happy with that.
“After undergoing three years of treatment, the star is now in a wheelchair.”
My heart has changed.
He continues, “The only thing I miss about my body is the body I used to have. “
I’m able to walk around and it feels like I can move around more freely, so that is a good thing.”
He continues, “The only thing I miss about my body is the body I used to have.
It was really difficult to be around people when I was young.
I was scared to be near people because I was afraid of the things that could happen.””
My body has been reconstructed and rebuilt and rebuilt, and I’m so happy about that,” he adds.
“For the first time in my entire life, I feel confident and at peace with myself.”
The actor says his journey is part of a larger effort to help those living with cystinid diseases.
“We have this epidemic of cystic Fibrosis and there are people who are just not being diagnosed because they have this condition,” he tells PEOPLE.
“We need to be aware of the disease, because if we don’t know about it, we will continue to do the same things.”
“The best thing that I could ever hope for is to help others,” he continues.
“But I am not here to change people.
I am here to help myself and make a difference in people’s lives.
I feel so grateful to be alive, and to have that power.”
He hopes to be on the road to recovery soon.