It’s been 30 years since Henry Rojas hung up his gorilla suit to follow his childhood dream.

As the original Phoenix Suns mascot, Rojas was “an entertainment beast” by NBA standards.1 His crowd-pleasing antics made him the most popular guy in a room of thousands and earned him a six-figure salary at the height of his career. Removing the mask that made him a legend would seem bananas to most people, but he doesn’t regret a minute of his life since stepping out of the spotlight.

That’s because Rojas wanted to inspire a deeper joy – and he knew he couldn’t do it as a silent actor on center court. If he was going to reach people in a meaningful way, he had to set the mask aside and get down to the business of being real.

Today, as chaplain at Calvary Healing Center, Rojas uses his story to help people rediscover their own identity along the path to recovery. It’s a story of hope – of being loved for who you are, not what you do – and it’s changing lives each and every day.

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1The Gorilla.”, Accessed January 18, 2018.