After nearly a two-year battle, including two lengthy series of chemotherapy treatments, Gianluca Vialli has been “given the all-clear” by doctors in his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Vialli, who’s always been very private about this battle and, as he told in his book in 2018, would wear extra layers under his clothing to hide his weight loss, received the good news in December after 17 months of intense battling against the disease.
“I am fine. In December I finished 17 months of chemotherapy, one cycle of eight months and another of nine. It was difficult, even for someone as tough as me, both physically and mentally.
“The tests showed no sign of the illness. I am happy, even if I say that under my breath to be on the safe side. Regaining my health means seeing myself in the mirror again, seeing the hair grow, not having to draw eyebrows on with a pencil. In that respect, I feel very fortunate compared to many others.”
One of the winningest managers in pre-Abramovich Chelsea history, in addition to scoring 40 goals in just 88 games for the club at the very end of his playing career, Vialli played down his battle with one of the leading causes of death to focus on the workers currently fighting on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Vialli’s own health puts him in the risk group of COVID-19, but he’s focusing on the positives that could be gained and learned from all this.
“In my case, this was not a battle, but a journey, an opportunity for introspection. I would’ve gladly done without this illness, but it happened and so I try to make the most of it. This helps you become who you are.
“You fight the fear of dying by thinking of your desires, concentrating on what you really love and how much we want all those good things to return. In this enormous silence that surrounds us during the lockdown, there is almost a Zen atmosphere. We can hear the birdsong even in the megalopolis of the big city, see how quickly the smog cleared...”
“It will be wonderful when football and sport return, as emotions and memories will help us to get back to living our full lives. I just hope we maintain this capacity for solidarity in future and expand it. Keep backing the healthcare workers, these generous people of incredible physical and mental strength. Let us not forget them, when this is all over.”
“I would like in future for people to no longer just say ‘your health is the most important thing’, but to actually mean it. No more cuts to public health. No more bridges allowed to crumble. Make the safety and security of every individual the paramount responsibility.”
-Gianluca Vialli; source: La Repubblica via Football Italia
That’s certainly something we can all agree on.