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Author Topic: NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has rare form of leukemia  (Read 1178 times)

Offline daigong

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NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has rare form of leukemia
« on: November 14, 2009, 01:09:02 PM »
Get WELL soon, Captain. He did amazing work with the Lakers Andrew Bynum and was gonna try his hand at coaching at a higher position....



NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has rare form of leukemia
By Associated Press  |   Tuesday, November 10, 2009  

NEW YORK — Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is being treated for a rare form of leukemia, and he said his prognosis is encouraging.

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer was diagnosed last December with chronic myeloid leukemia, he told The Associated Press on Monday.

The 62-year-old Abdul-Jabbar said his doctor didn’t give any guarantees, but informed him: "You have a very good chance to live your life out and not have to make any drastic changes to your lifestyle."

Abdul-Jabbar is taking an oral medication for the disease. He is a paid spokesman for the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, which makes a drug that treats the illness.

Citing the way Los Angeles Lakers teammate Magic Johnson brought awareness to HIV, Abdul-Jabbar said he wants to do the same for his form of blood cancer, which can be fatal if left untreated.

"I’ve never been a person to share my private life. But I can help save lives," he said at a midtown Manhattan conference room. "It’s incumbent on someone like me to talk about this."

Abdul-Jabbar became concerned last year after feeling odd sensations. He went for tests at UCLA, where he dominated college basketball in the late 1960s, winning three straight championships from 1967-69.

"I was getting hot flashes and sweats on a regular basis," he said. "That’s not normal, even for my age."

An exam showed his white blood cell count was "sky high" and a doctor quickly diagnosed his condition. At first, all Abdul-Jabbar heard was the word "leukemia."

"I was scared," he said. "I thought it was all the same. I thought it could mean I have a month to live."

"That was my first question," he said. "Was I going to make it?"

A longtime student in martial arts, Abdul-Jabbar said he took the approach of a samurai, to face death without fear.

"I had my face on," he said.

Instead, doctors told him CML was treatable with proper medication and monitoring.

Abdul-Jabbar is a special assistant with the Lakers and said he hasn’t had to cut back his level of activity of coaching, change his regimen or adjust his diet.

"I’m able to sneak out for Thai food," he said.

"There is hope. This condition can be treated. You can still live a productive, full life," he said. "I’m living proof I can make it."

Abdul-Jabbar recently returned from an academic conference in Abu Dhabi and has several speaking engagements planned. Among the people he regularly talks to about his condition is his son, a third-year medical student at the University of California, San Francisco.

The six-time NBA MVP intends to post updates to his Facebook and Twitter accounts and stay connected through www.CMLearth.com, a Web site for those afflicted by the disease.

About 5,000 cases of CML are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society said. More than 22,000 people are living in the US with the disease.

The disease tends to initially be diagnosed by people in their mid-to-late 60s, and usually affects men more than women.

"I want to spread the word," Abdul-Jabbar said.

Offline kuro_808

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Re: NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has rare form of leukemia
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2009, 06:13:33 PM »
^ he is such an icon, get well soon Kareem
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R.I.P. Jab!  Dad/friend

Offline Slack

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Re: NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has rare form of leukemia
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2009, 07:22:45 PM »
It sounds like this is something that you can only manage instead of "get well" from.  With cancer there is no cure, only remission.

Still, it's good that this kind of leukemia is treatable and won't affect his daily life too much.
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Offline daigong

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Re: NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has rare form of leukemia
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2009, 09:06:43 AM »
ah yeah. Cancer is such a bitch. Freaked me out reading about it.
Abdul-Jabbar battles cancer

But man, Magic is bigger and better than ever. 18 Years...

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Re: NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has rare form of leukemia
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 10:26:33 AM »
Lakers great Abdul-Jabbar overwhelmed by support
By Elliott Teaford Staff Writer
Updated: 11/15/2009 11:15:53 PM PST


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar visited Staples Center for the first time since announcing last week that he has a treatable form of leukemia. He said he intends living his life as if nothing were wrong, and that includes retaining his job as a Lakers assistant coach.

Abdul-Jabbar also said he has been surprised by the outpouring of support from people he meets in the course of going about his business at the supermarket, in airports and driving around Los Angeles.

"It's been quite an experience, all the attention," the 62-year-old Abdul-Jabbar said before the Lakers faced the Houston Rockets on Sunday. "I didn't expect it to play out that way. The fans and the general public have been incredible in their support.

"I've got people's prayers and support. They asked what they could do. It's really been a great opportunity to re-connect with people, and I'm very glad that I did it. People have come up to me everywhere.

"It's incredible. It's really been great. Not the usual L.A. signs when you're at the red light too long. It's been extraordinary. I don't know what to do more so than I have done. People just want to connect. It's been beautiful."

Article: http://www.dailynews.com/ci_13797352?source=rss

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