“Life is unpredictable.”
“Despite being so fit, he still got cancer.”
“So sad for a man who is so young.”
Those were among the reactions by fans after it was revealed Datuk Lee Chong Wei has been diagnosed with nose cancer.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) confirmed the matter – which had been kept under wraps for months. Chong Wei pulled out of the World Championships in China and the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia in July following “health issues”. And that got many talking.
The national body said Chong Wei, who turns 36 on Oct 21, is responding well to treatment in Taiwan.
But the news still comes as a blow to his young family, let alone those who have cheered and supported him from the sidelines over the years.
The ‘C’ word (cancer) is just as despicable, if not worse, than the ‘F’ word. It crushes you physically and mentally.
And it does not choose who it attacks. Even the fittest are not immune.
Two-time Olympics and World Champion swimmer Eric Shanteau joins a list of international stars who have battled cancer. The American was diagnosed with testicular cancer a week before the 2008 Olympic trials. Yet, he competed at the Beijing Games.
Post-surgery, he returned to the pool stronger and even helped the US team get the second position in the 100m breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympics.
Shanteau was inspired by his dad, who was also a cancer survivor. The swimmer was quoted by Coping with Cancer as saying: “You have cancer. It doesn’t have you.”
“Cancer is one of those things that can control your life if you let it.”
Does this mean we should stop exercising and forget about sticking to a balanced diet? No.
Does this mean that we should celebrate life? Yes.
Just as Shanteau said, don’t let the C-word or any other health issues control your life.
To Chong Wei, stay strong and we hope to see you in action soon.
And to the rest of us, let’s start spending more time with our loved ones because life is unpredictable – so make the best of it.