Fighting cancer: Yuvraj has examples galore for inspiration

Indian cricket fans were in for a major shock when the news about India’s all-rounder and hero of the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh suffering from lung cancer broke in the news channels on Sunday. According to reports, Yuvraj is undergoing treatment at the Cancer Research Institute in Boston, US.  But the good news is that Yuvi’s cancer is completely curable and that he can resume training in 10 weeks.

"Yuvraj has a rare type of seminoma which is completely curable," clarified Yuvraj’s oncologist - Dr. Nikesh Rohatagi while addressing media in the Capital on Tuesday.  "Yuvraj has a germ-cell tumour between his lungs," panel of doctors further added.  Yuvraj will undergo his third round of chemotherapy on Wednesday and he will be fit again to play international cricket, say doctors.

Meanwhile, Yuvraj is said to have taken inspiration from Lance Armstrong, who too had suffered from cancer, but fought back the adversities and came back stronger to win at the highest level. Yuvi too can look to various examples from the sporting world and should not let the illness affect him. Going what we know about him and his fighting spirits, he is more likely to leave this behind and will take the cricket field again and help India come out of the slump that it finds itself at present.

Indian Sports News brings forth some of examples of sportspersons who have fought the deadliest of diseases to come back strong and excel in their area of sports.

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong was diagnosed as having testicular cancer along with a tumour, which had metastasized to his lungs in Oct. 1996. The chances of him surviving were less than 40 percent. He underwent chemotherapy and rehabilitation and with his will power he stunned everyone. He started training and went on to win the Tour de France the following year. Tour de France is considered to be the most challenging sport known to human and he won it for the consecutive seven times.

Eric Abidal

Frenchman Eric Abidal who plays for Barcelona, came back to play just two months after he was diagnosed for a tumour in his liver. Barcelona played the final of the Champions League and won 3-1. Abidal played for entire 90 minutes in one of the sport’s most celebrated events.  After the match he admitted that the support he got from his fans gave him strength to play.

Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke in 2006 was diagnosed with a low-grade spot on his nose. Clarke recovered from it soon and went on to become the brand ambassador for the skin cancer awareness programme. He is the current Australian captain and is in the form of his life.

Simon O'Donnell

Former Australian all-rounder Simon O'Donnell was diagnosed of cancer after the 1987 World Cup. He came back in the Australian side after a gap of one year and became the record holder of the then fastest 50 which he scored in 18 balls in a one-day game against Sri Lanka.

Mario Lemieux

Regarded as one of the most naturally talented ice hockey players, Lemieux was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the height of his powers in 1993. Remarkably, Lemieux returned to the sport after radiation treatment and on October 26, 1995, scored his 500th career goal playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins in his 650thgame, becoming the second-fastest player to reach the landmark.

Dave Callaghan

The former South African cricketer was diagnosed with testicular cancer in September 1991. He received treatment and returned to full health to receive his maiden call-up to the national squad a year later. The defining moment of his international career was a tremendous all-round performance against New Zealand at Centurion during the Mandela Trophy in 1994, in what was Callaghan's first innings after recovering from cancer. Opening the batting, he hit an unbeaten 169 off 143 balls and took a career-best 3 for 32 to help South Africa to victory, and with it the Man-of-the-Match award.

All these players had one thing in common and that is their will power to overcome their disease and to represent their country or to do what they love the most in their life. Yuvraj Singh is less to no one in terms of his will power or the confidence. His cricketing career has not been easy as he has always been under the radar of the cricket critics and in the thick of the controversies. But, he has ensured that whenever he takes the field, he plays to win. Yuvraj just need to battle his illness with the same confidence the way he has battled with the bowlers and he for sure will come out as a winner again.