Overtime: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has Leukemia

By Melva N. Lloyd

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Image courtesy of http://www.starpulse.com

NBA legend and former Los Angeles Laker revealed in an interview with the Associated Press that he does in fact have a rare form of leukemia which he is currently being treated for.

The six-time world champion received his diagnosis nearly a year ago but kept the news private until now, “I’ve never been a person to share my private life.  But I can help save lives…”

Jabbar, who is currently the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, admits that he has been terrified since learning of his diagnosis, however the former league most valuable player is reportedly responding well to treatment.  In addition to that, Jabbar credits his decision to go public with his diagnosis to former teammate and HIV/AIDS spokesman Magic Johnson.

Constant hot flashes caused Jabbar to have blood work done and he ultimately learned of the disease after voicing his concern to this doctor.  He makes it a point to let others know that his perfect health was one of the reasons he was able to catch the disease and now has a chance at beating it; over the years, Jabbar became known as one of the first pro-athletes to pick up yoga as a hobby.

His decision to come forward and let the world know that he does have leukemia opens doors for others like him to speak out about the disease.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has put a face to the sickness and can now help others, whether athletes or everyday people, as they fight to regain their strength and raise awareness.

 

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