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National Cancer Awareness Day: 5 athletes who defeated cancer

National Cancer Awareness Day: 5 athletes who defeated cancer

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Published: 4 Feb 2019 6:58 AM GMT
A few years back, Yuvraj Singh was hailed as an inspiration for the way he tackled cancer head on. Not only that, he even returned to the playing field after successfully defeating the disease. Among other various diseases, a global threat is cancer but in India, its pertinence is increased. As per Indian population census data, the rate of mortality due to cancer in India was high and alarming with about 806000 existing cases by the end of the last century. Cancer is the second most common disease in India responsible for maximum mortality with about 0.3 million deaths per year. Various factors contribute to this. A lack of awareness and effectivity in identifying, diagnosing and treating are just among the few reasons. The world of sports has seen its fair share of inspirational stories and on this Cancer Day, we bring you 5 such instances.

5. Dingko Singh, Boxing

Former Navy boxer Dingko Singh took the Boxing world by storm after he won the Gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games in his category- the first Asiad Boxing Gold for in 16 years before that. His achievement effectively put the Manipur on the map when it came to the sport. The boxer underwent surgery for liver cancer in January 2017 and a large part of his liver was removed. So dire was the financial situation that he had to sell his house in Imphal to raise funds for treatment in Delhi. The most recent reports about the once legendary boxer is that he is back to training children in his sport in Manipur. Bollywood has taken up the boxer's story with Shahid Kapoor reported to playing Singh

4. Shiraz Siddiqui, Marathoner

Image: YourStory Nine days before his bone marrow transplant in 2013, Shiraz Siddiqui cycled for 100 kms without stopping. This was the second time his cancer had relapsed. Shiraz Siddiqui has survived cancer thrice. On his cancer relapsing for the first time, this is what he said to Mumbai Mirror in 2016:
I braved it and was cancer-free from 2004 till 2009. In March 2009, I suffered a relapse. In cancer, we hardly use the word cure- we are just happy for a second chance as and when we are in remission and then we make the most of it.
Siddiqui has credited his intense physical regime as one of the reasons for his strength in battling the disease. Since then, he has trained 750 and more corporate employees for Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. In 2019, Shiraz completed five years since his transplant. In 2015, on his birthday on Sept 15, he cycled indoors non-stop for 100 km after his final transplant. He still carries on with his rigorous regime.

3. Dr Ritu Biyani, Adventure Sports

Image: Art of Giving First Woman to do a solo drive to the four tips of India & the First Mother-Daughter Duo expedition on cancer awareness across the country with many more laurels- this is the introduction she boasts of. A breast cancer survivor, her mission is to link adventure sports to spreading cancer awareness.
"Different reactions came. Initially people asked: Tumhara breast nikal diya gaya kya? (Did they remove your breast?) Whether it’s urban or rural, 90% women are unaware of breast cancer symptoms and 70-80% about cervical, oral and other cancer in the country. People In the tribal areas were very receptive. In six months journey, I held 140 workshops where 26,000 people attended, covering 30,220 Kms in 177 days, including 26 states," she was quoted as saying by Better India in 2014.

2. Anand Arnold, Bodybuilding

Image: Indian BodyBuilding Anand Arnold was paralysed at age 15. He was diagnosed with cancer in his lower spinal chord and surgery left him paralysed. Despite this, he fulfilled his dream of becoming a bodybuilder and was effectively the first person on a wheelchair to do so. He has won over 40 bodybuilding titles and is even employed by agencies as the model for various muscular mini action figures. His passion for Bodybuilding began at the age of 13.

1. Aadish Cheruku, Chess

Image: TOI He was diagnosed with blood cancer aged 5. In 2016,Cheruku was among 15 children from across the globe selected to compete in the chess category at the World Children's Winners Games held in Moscow. These games are exclusively for children who have fought life threatening diseases. He missed the Bronze medal very closely. The child hero is 15 now. Also read: I kept telling myself, cancer can’t deter my spirit | By Shivani Charak
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