Every cricket fan and follower was shocked and saddened when they came to know that Yuvraj Singh, India's hero of the 2011 World Cup, is fighting cancer and is undergoing treatment in the United States. But everyone believes that the fighter that Yuvraj is, he will be triumphant. And he can take inspiration from other sportspersons who have successfully beaten this life-threatening disease and emerged as true champions, both on and off the field. Let's take a look:
Lance Armstrong: The American cyclist was diagnosed with Stage 3 testicular cancer in 1996, but he recovered to go on to win the sport's most prestigious race, the Tour de France, an unprecedented seven times.
Yuvraj is currently reading his autobiography to draw inspiration. Incidentally, he is also being treated by the same doctor.
Martina Navratilova: This tennis great Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with a noninvasive form of breast cancer. A routine mammogram in January 2011 found a lump, and a biopsy the following month determined it was ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS. "It was such a shock for me," Navratilova said. "It was my 9/11."
The 48-year-old returned to tennis after her treatment and was seen in action at the seniors event in the recently concluded Australian Open at Melbourne.
Eric Abidal: A tumour was detected on this France and Barcelona defender's liver in March 2011. He underwent surgery and two months later played the entire duration of Barcelona's masterclass in the Champions League final.
Jai Prakash Yadav: This former India all-rounder defeated cancer much before he made his international debut. His cancer was diagnosed when he was just a 21-year-old. Timely medication, support of his family and his willpower helped Yadav overcome the disease.
Mario Lemieux: One of the greatest ice hockey players, Lemieux was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the height of his powers in 1993. He returned after radiation treatment and remained prolific for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Dave Callaghan: The South Africa all-rounder was treated for cancer in 1991, but returned to full health and earned a place in the national squad in the next year. He played 29 ODIs in his South Africa career before retiring from cricket in 2003.
Simon O'Donnell: Soon after he helped Australia win the 1987 cricket World Cup, a lump on his rib was found to be cancerous. He underwent chemotherapy and made a strong comeback to international cricket in 1988-89
Edna Campbell: This former basketball player suffered from breast cancer during her fourth season as a professional. She returned to the court after beating cancer. In 2006, her return to basketball was voted as the 'most inspirational moment' in WNBA history.
Arnold Palmer: This Golf great was back on the course eight weeks after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer in 1997.
Alisa Kleybanova:Last year in July, this Russian tennis player announced that she was fighting Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of lymphoma, which is a cancer originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes. Kleybanova, who had made it to the fourth round of Wimbledon and the Australian Open in 2008 and 2009 respectively, won two WTA tournaments in Malaysia and South Korea in 2011, reaching a career-high ranking of 20 before her illness. The Moscow native said she hoped to return to tennis after her treatment. This may not exactly be a success story so far but we hope it turns out to be one.
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