New Delhi: Cancer is one of the most common and deadly diseases. It can scare anybody who is diagnosed with it. There are millions of people in the world who have been diagnosed with cancer and they are struggling to stay optimistic. This National Cancer Prevention Month, we bring to you some inspiring stories of people who fought cancer and conquered it.
This is the story of a charming young Indian cricketer, who took the entire world by storm when he hit six magnificent sixes in an over. He is none other than our beloved Yuvraj Singh. Only a few people were surprised when he was declared the player of the tournament in 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. But his real struggles began right after he led India to such a historic win.
Yuvraj Singh was suffering from a tumor in his left lung, as reported in November, 2011. It was only three months after this that the tumor was confirmed to be cancerous and that Singh had Mediastinal Seminoma. It’s a germ cell cancer, which was located between his heart and left lung and grew 14 centimeter like a ball over his chest.
No doubt, it came as a shock for everyone, the player who had just put a spectacular show in his game was suffering from cancer all along while playing in the World Cup.
In an interview of CNN’s Humans to Hero series in 2015, he recalled, “I was coughing a lot. I was not able to breathe on my left side. I was struggling to breathe throughout the whole tournament (and) spitting a little bit of blood at times during games.”
Singh decided to face the biggest challenge of his life and flew to the United States for treatment in 2012. He underwent chemotherapy in Boston and Indianapolis, where he was treated by the same Lawrence Einhorn who treated former cyclist Lance Armstrong. Singh came back to India after three intensive cycles of Chemotherapy, all set to play for the country with his team.
After fighting cancer and conquering it, Singh didn’t shy away from talking about his struggles. He talked about how cancer brought different perspectives in his life.
In an interview with Hindustan Times in 2013, he said, “I am a more relaxed person now. When one is young, aspiring to play for the country, doing well, any hindrance, like injury or being out of form, can be frustrating and a cause of annoyance or even anger. But once you have a close encounter with death, you realise the real value of life.”
In various interviews after his recovery, Singh has laid stress on the importance of accepting cancer, choosing to fight it and remaining optimistic throughout the process. In a talk with Humans Of Bombay, he said, “It’s only once I accepted cancer and I could beat it. When life knocks down you have a choice to get up. So I thought to myself – Get up and do it again. I came back within three months of my treatment, only because I wasn’t done with cricket - I don’t think I’ll ever be done with it.”
In the CNN’s Humans to Hero series, he said, “Trust me, it's not easy to get out of it. It's something which kills you from inside and it takes a lot out of you, your family members and your friends to see what you're going through. That's why I'm trying to motivate people and try to help them get their life back.”