“Even if I can’t become a champion, I won’t give up sports anyway”: how sports help children with cancer

Five wards


Konstantin Khabensky told how they return to sports after treatment of cancer and learn to win again.

“Even if I can’t become a champion, I won’t give up sports anyway”: how sports help children with cancer

Photo: Sveta Mishina

Timothy was diagnosed with 2012. The treatment took a year, but after five years, the tumor began to grow again. He underwent a second operation and was prescribed chemotherapy. Before illness, Timothy had excellent control of his own body: he easily balanced on the railing and did a backflip.

After treatment, it began to be given to him with difficulty, but he mastered the skateboard. Now he is studying in a regular school and loves to learn tricks on a skateboard.

When I finished treatment for the first time, dad suggested I get on a skateboard. He taught me a few basic elements. Many of them did not work out right away.

For example, I couldn’t make an element called “tick-tock” and once thought: well, when will it work out for me! And just then I realized that you just need to twist your foot. I tried and finally was able to make this move. I was very happy and decided that if I could, then I could do something else. Now I can already see how someone else does the trick, and repeat. At first I learned to do some tricks on a wakeboard (in wakeboarding, an athlete stands on a board and rolls on the water behind a motor boat.

- Approx. Ed. ). The technique of riding on it is different from the technique for skate, but it was easier for me to work it out that way. After the second course of treatment, I returned to skating.

Skills are not lost. It is only a pity that during the treatment, new ones did not appear by themselves.

About his diagnosis Sonia accidentally I learned at the age of 14 during a routine examination before the boxing championship. Instead of competition, she had to go to surgery, then she recovered throughout the year. But Sonya resumed boxing training with the permission of the doctor after six months.

I have been practicing martial arts since I was seven years old, and I probably chose boxing because my dad was associated with this sport. Before the illness, I had many plans, I was preparing for serious competitions. And of course, it was a shame that I was not able to participate in them. Therefore, after treatment, I returned to training. Fortunately, the doctor allowed.

At first it was hard physically, and I also started to get blows to the head. But I saw the goals that I once set, and I realized that I wanted to achieve them. It helped me a lot and did not let me lose heart. Boxing formed a character in me, and perhaps if I hadn’t been involved in sports, I would have experienced that difficult period differently. Sport has helped me in other areas, for example in music: during performances and piano exams I am now confident.

Now, a year after returning to training, it is already much easier for me. I really look forward to the moment when the doctor allows me to participate in the competition and I can finally fully return to the sport.

“Even if I can’t become a champion, I won’t give up sports anyway”: how sports help children with cancer

Photo: Natalia Tkacheva

Kirill was diagnosed in early 2018. A few months earlier, he had to quit swimming training due to poor health. Having undergone treatment - an operation and several courses of radiation and chemotherapy - Cyril returned to swimming.

Before my illness, I was swimming at the Olympic Reserve School and often competed. I got the third category in breaststroke and rabbit and was preparing to pass the standards for the second. But I had to start treatment. During treatment, I waited for me to return to the sport. Mom thought that the doctor would not allow it, but, on the contrary, they told me that the pool would be beneficial.

Of course, it didn’t turn out right away. I finished treatment in July 2018, and only started training in April this year. No, during the treatment I did not lose my skills, but it became a little harder: I was very tired after training, I had to rest at home for a long time. So far, I am engaged with the coach alone, but in September I plan to return to the group. I know: if I can’t even become a champion, I won’t give up the sport anyway.

The first signs of the disease appeared, when Timur was seven years old, but the correct diagnosis was made only after three years. He went through several chemotherapy courses. During the treatment I had to leave combat sambo, which he was engaged in from kindergarten. In early 2019, as soon as Timur completed treatment and the doctor allowed him to return to the sport, he resumed training.

When I was five years old, I watched a movie with Bruce Lee.

I didn’t remember the name, but the battle scenes - yes. I myself wanted to do martial arts. I never missed training, because I participated in competitions and, if I missed, I could not win. I knew that I could not fail the coach and myself. Combat Sambo brought me strength of spirit.

Perhaps she helped me win the main battle - the fight against the disease. But I did not want to stop on this victory. As soon as I felt strength, I immediately went to the coach. He was glad to see me. I did not tell anyone what was happening to me, so the coach did not know about my illness.

Now I am back in the sambo section. I had to start with a simple one: a press, practicing a punch strike. But I feel that I am gradually returning to the previous level.

“Even if I can’t become a champion, I won’t give up sports anyway”: how sports help children with cancer

Photo: personal archive of the Viti Gorbachev family

Vitya fell ill in 2015 and was undergoing treatment for three years: he took radiation and chemotherapy courses. Because of this, he temporarily abandoned mobile sports and began to engage in chess.

Since August 2018, Vitya has been under dynamic observation: regularly pr goes through examinations and passes tests, gradually returns to his previous lifestyle.

The doctor suggested I go to chess.I thought: this is so boring! I liked moving, I used to do taekwondo, gymnastics, hip hop and break dance. But after illness it was impossible to do all this. So I went to chess.

The first two weeks were boring: I did not like to sit in one place for so long. All my classmates played chess longer and have already managed to get awards. I wanted to become stronger and started studying: I came home and sorted out combinations, solved puzzles, played online, watched YouTube tournaments with chess players. Mom even began to ask me to do less and relax more. But I didn’t listen to her.

Now I have victories, diplomas and diplomas. But that’s not all, my main victories are ahead.

The Konstantin Khabensky Foundation helps children with cancer and other serious diseases of the brain receive the necessary treatment and recover. You can support the work of the fund financially here.



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