Former 'Biggest Loser' Contestant Dead at 38 From Sudden & Rare Illness

A former contestant on NBC's The Biggest Loser tragically lost his life recently, after suffering from the sudden onset of a rare autoimmune disorder. Damien Gurganious was just 38 years old when he passed on Monday, November 24.


Gurganious had just celebrated his birthday a week before he died from the disorder, which caused bleeding in his brain. He is survived by his wife, Nicole Brewer Gurganious, and their 2-year-old daughter.

In a statement released by the family, they said, "He was a pillar of his family, an amazing son, brother, cousin and uncle ... He was an incredible husband and father to his two-year-old daughter, Giselle. He was an inspiration and a mentor to so many. His love for his family and friends was immense."

The Gurganious' competed on Season 7 of the hit reality show as a then-engaged couple in January 2009. They were eliminated in the third week, but still managed to lose a combined total of 264 pounds before their wedding in August of that year.

Nicole recently took to her Facebook page to post personally for the first time, to announce her husband's passing. 

As most of you know, I never post on social media. So, it is highly ironic and deeply sad that my first true post is to inform you of the tragic loss of my beloved husband, Damien Gurganious ... Damien suffered from the sudden onset of a rare autoimmune disorder, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), which caused inoperable bleeding in his brain. Damien passed away on Monday, November 24, 2014.

All of you who knew Damien can attest to his generous and loving spirit, his outgoing and gregarious personality, and his caring and compassionate nature ... Damien always desired to bring out the best in those around him by offering encouragement, support and love, often couched in his own hilarious and sage adages.

The Biggest Loser will air an "in memoriam" card following next week's episode on Thursday, December 11, and friends and family have set up a fund to help with the financial stress on his surviving wife and child. Damien was the main provider for the family, and having recently gotten himself so much healthier, no one was expecting his sudden illness and death. You can go to "The Damien Gurganious Family Fund" website if you'd like to help.

Would you ever expect to lose your life so quickly after getting yourself healthy?


Image via Nicole Gurganious/Facebook

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