The Inspirations to Defy All Odds.

With February 4, World Cancer Day approaching us, I deem it to be a prerequisite for us to do justice to its purpose. Cancer has had fatal consequences on human lives for years now. It's baffling how the cells which in concrete are the fundamental building blocks of life can affect us, both physically and mentally, in a way that inflicts immense pain, trauma, and suffering. Athletes, the people acknowledged as the fittest fellows on the planet are too not immune to this fatal disease. Although the world has lost many sports idols to Cancer, there have been many happy endings too. Yes, not every athlete who has been diagnosed with cancer has made a comeback to the glory days on the field. However, with early detection, advanced treatments, supportive care services, and proper nutrition, many athletes have made a strong recovery and returned to the field with victories ahead. A great number of people, athlete or not, have undertaken the fight against this disease and rose stronger. I think in today's date, all of us know or know of at least one person battling cancer. Under any circumstances, insights and inspirations from people who've undergone the same situations always prove to be valuable, and effective. Here, we go over a handful of the distinguished athletes who fought through this hardship and made touching mind-boggling comebacks to their respective sports. • Yuvraj Singh The legendary Indian cricketer, Yuvraj Singh assisted India to raise both the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup. Although he had been detected with stage 1 Lung cancer in 2012, it is said that he possessed the indications of the carcinogens in the 2011 World Cup itself. Yet in spite of the sufferings and pain, the former went on to compete on the field to win the cup for the country. Fortunately, the chemotherapy sessions yielded results combating the dangerous cells from his body. After the recovery, he not only came back into action in the Indian team post but also turned into an inspiration for many people. • Lance Armstrong This race cyclist has the most notable, awe-inspiring, and memorable cancer recovery stories in sports in the sports world. Armstrong has long been a guiding light for people from all walks of life. At the age of 25, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which had further spread from his testicle to his lungs, abdomen, and into his brain. An immediate surgery had taken place resulting in the removal of several brain tumors and a testicle. In the initial stages of the treatment, doctors asserted him to have little chance of survival. But defying all odds, he won the Tour de France for straight 7 years, 1999-2005.

Mario Lemieux Regarded as one of the most skillful, adept, and efficient ice hockey players, Mario Lemieux was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma when he was at his peak in 1993. Exceptionally, the former made a comeback after undergoing two months of aggressive radiation treatment. Further, on October 26, 1995, he scored his 500th goal playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins in his 650th game. As a result of which he came to be the second-fastest player to achieve the milestone. • Dave Callaghan This South African cricketer was diagnosed with testicular cancer in September 1991. With the help of needful treatment, he recovered entirely, fit and fine once again. So much so that he received his maiden call-up to the national squad just a year later. The turning point of his international career was his incredible all-around game against New Zealand at Centurion during the Mandela Trophy in 1994. • Mike Lowell Mike Lowell was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 24 which was just a year after he pulled off his Major League Baseball debut for the New York Yankees. His cancer was first detected on 19 February 1999 and underwent surgery 2 days later. After the removal of his testicle, he underwent three weeks of radiation treatment. With time, as his body recovered he returned to the minor leagues. Four games that's all it took, and the Marlins called him back on 13 April. After beating cancer, he has backed three World Series titles and been named to the All-Star team four times. • Edna Campbell She is a now-retired basketball player, known for playing in the WNBA despite suffering from breast cancer all the while. Diagnosed with breast cancer during her fourth season as a professional, she successfully won against cancer. In 2006, her comeback to basketball was designated as the "most inspirational moment" in WNBA yore. • Max Taylor He is one of the recent athletes to have survived and thrived through testicular cancer. The Manchester United player was diagnosed with cancer in mid-2018 when he was just 18 years old. He underwent chemotherapy and surgery, and at most by September end was again strong, and fit enough to return to training. Although he hasn't yet made his debut, he was on the bench for United's Europa League match. • Novlene Williams-Mills

This Jamaican sprinter competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics knowing that she had breast cancer. She won a silver medal in the 4x400 meters relay. After which she went through a mastectomy and one more operation, resulting in her recovery over the years. Since then she has bagged several medals. One of them being a silver medal in the 4x400 meters relay at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016. These players have proved to be a ray of hope, and inspiration for myriad patients. They defied the odds and affirmed that success is achievable post-diagnosis too. -Pihu Goel

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