Cancer survivor in E China fitness contest an inspiration

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-10-14 15:33
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Wang Wei, a first-time participant in the seventh Wushan Fitness Championship in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, touched the hearts of netizens on Sunday with his inspirational seven-year struggle against cancer and perseverance in fitness training while receiving treatment, Yangtze Evening Post's Ziniu News reported.

Wang, aged 41, was born in Tonglu county in Hangzhou, and underwent a splenectomy to remove a growing lump on his spleen in 2014. Shortly after discharge from hospital, he was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma and recommended chemotherapy.

Wang said he was very depressed after getting the diagnosis. "It was like I was dreaming, because my body had always been in good shape and I didn't smoke or drink," Wang said during an interview with Ziniu News.

"I felt terrified and hit the lowest point in my life."

Through the comfort and support of his father and friends, Wang began to tackle his illness head-on. Between November 2014 and June 2015, he underwent chemotherapy, followed by a two-year maintenance period, when he had to receive a shot of a targeted cancer drug every three months.

Wang said fitness training has been his hobby since middle school. After his cancer diagnosis, he placed a greater emphasis on exercise, which has helped his body remain in relatively stable condition despite the illness. In order to continue pursuing his dream of fitness training, he even obtained a national level two referee certificate.

Unfortunately, a re-examination in 2018 found the cancer returned and entered a terminal stage.

"When I learned about the recurrence, I wasn't as anxious as last time, probably because I learned not to take it to heart," Wang said. "I carried on with my hobbies, and went to the fitness center to regularly exercise."

In April, Wang was encouraged by his friends in fitness training to participate in the Wushan Fitness Championship, even offering to help him with the training regime.

"This year, my body has still been in relatively stable condition, so I wanted to try it out. You never know if there will be another chance like this," Wang said.

In order to present the best of his physique on stage, Wang trained very hard, losing 15.6 kilograms of weight in 161 days.

During the preparation period, he was also receiving cancer treatment, and had to visit the hospital every week to receive injections. This often caused him discomfort, nausea and extreme fatigue, adding difficulty to the training.

Each training session lasted two to three hours, often leaving him exhausted. "I do not want to give up. If I miss this chance, it will be hard for me to participate again in the future," Wang said.

When Wang finally stood on the championship stage, he felt everything was worth it. He registered for the men's group and mixed doubles, and scored fifth place in the latter.

"I was not thinking about getting into the top. I know there's a big ability gap between me and the professionals," Wang said. "Fitness training is my hobby, so participating in the competition already fulfilled a wish for me. I hope my experience can encourage more cancer patients to face life with optimism."

"I discovered that more and more young people are getting cancer, mostly due to not paying enough attention to exercising and eating," Wang said, noting he got to know many other cancer patients during his stay in the hospital.

"Through my experience in fighting against cancer, I want to encourage more cancer patients to exercise using scientific methods, actively receive treatments, and face life head-on," said Wang.

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