Famous Athletes Who Battled Disease

Famous Athletes Who Battled Disease

They are watched by millions, admired and cheered for. But despite a healthy lifestyle, fan attention, multi-million dollar earnings and success, athletes are faced with deadly diseases. However, the will to win, strong spirit and perseverance help athletes not to give up and overcome diseases. You will read about them in this article. And you can find other interesting materials on

Saku Koivu (ice hockey player)

Former Finnish national team captain, world champion (1995) and four-time Olympic medalist, he learned from his own experience what Burkitt’s lymphoma is. Koivu was at the peak of his career when he was diagnosed with a terrible disease. For the hockey player, this was a strong blow, but he decided not to give up. At the press conference, Saku promised that he would return to the ice, and he kept his word. To do this, he had to undergo a long course of chemotherapy. The exhausting treatment lasted 7 months, but thanks to it, Koivu was able to defeat the disease and return to his club.

Nene (basketball player)

In 2008, this Brazilian player underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor and immediately returned to the team. He played for the Denver Nuggets and had many more wins with that club, and before his recent career ended he played for the Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets.

Daniel Jacobs (boxer)

One of the best boxers in the United States, Daniel Jacobs, was also forced to fight the disease. The promising athlete was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 2011. Doctors told Jacobs that even if the surgery was successful, he would not be able to continue his athletic career. But, Daniel decided to prove otherwise.

The surgery to remove the tumor lasted nine hours, after which the boxer underwent chemotherapy and treatment, which lasted for seven months. Daniel Jacobs was back in the ring and began to win. He was a regular WBA world champion from 2014 to 2017, and an IBF world middleweight champion from 2018 to 2019. Today, he continues to perform successfully. You can bet on Daniel’s fights at the bookmakers, which are part of the rating portal.

Eric Abidal (footballer)

In 2011, Eric Abidal, who at that time was one of the most valuable players in Barcelona, ​​was diagnosed with a liver tumour. But the will to win and fortitude did not leave the athlete. Also, Eric was supported by fans and colleagues. During the Champions League match, the players from Real Madrid and Lyon appeared on the field wearing T-shirts with the words “Everything will be fine, Abidal”, and the Barcelona players dedicated the victory to him.

Abidal needed a donor, which was his cousin. He donated half of his liver, which saved Eric’s life. After going through the rehabilitation period, he returned to the team, becoming an example of courage and resilience for many.

Tora Berger (biathlete)

One of the best biathletes in the world, Tora Berger, fought not only against her rivals at the Vancouver Olympics but also against such a terrible disease as skin cancer.

After winning the individual race, Tora burst into tears. She understood that this victory may be the last for her because the doctors warned her that due to illness, her favorite sport might have to be abandoned. The disease was diagnosed a year before the Olympics, and oncologists even admitted that the Norwegian biathlete might not live to see the 2010 games.

However, since the disease was detected at an early stage, and the operation to remove the tumor was carried out efficiently, everything ended well for Tora. As the biathlete herself admitted, such situations make you think about your life.

About the author

Steve Murphy

Steve Murphy has handled various businesses throughout his career and has a deep domain knowledge. He founded Report Door in an attempt to bring the latest news to its readers. He is glued to the stock market most of the times and just loves being in touch with the developments in the business world.

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