Testicular Cancer Survivor Ready To Compete In Major Jiu-Jitsu Tournament

Testicular Cancer Survivor Ready To Compete In Major Jiu-Jitsu Tournament

At 20 years old, Joao Rocha was already being heralded as one of the world’s most promising practitioners of Jiu-Jitsu. The martial art, popular in his native Brazil, involves lots of intense grappling and struggling for position. But in one 2013 bout, Rocha noticed a new kind of pain that he’d never felt before. He was wracked with agony throughout his entire body, so he naturally headed to the doctor to get checked out.

As you might have guessed, the diagnosis was testicular cancer. To such a young athlete, this could be a death sentence. Jiu-Jitsu requires incredible physical dedication, and slipping out of practice to treat a disease can drop you permanently behind your peers. But Rocha isn’t an ordinary athlete. He had just earned his black belt and won the Rio Open. So a year off to cleanse his body of cancer was going to be nothing but a speed bump.

Joao Rocha is now using his ordeal to inspire others facing testicular cancer. “One should always remember that all testing times pass,” he said. “One just has to believe and support from your loved ones is important. Once you are mentally strong everything you can overcome. Now I take things day by day and live it to the fullest every day as if there is no tomorrow.” Words to live by.

Read more at Gulf News.