The former footballer and Spanish national, Atlético de Madrid and Deportivo de la Coruña player and current sports director of the Spanish National Team, José Francisco Molina, gave a talk to students and teachers on the Degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, Nursing and Physiotherapy on his experience overcoming cancer when he was a professional footballer and how sport was essential to help him get better.
The presentation was organised by the University Camilo José Cela ‘Marqués de Samaranch’ Olympic Chair directed by Juan Carlos Segovia, who presented the main conclusions of the book published jointly by the Chair and Sanitas, entitled Cáncer y Deporte.
Next, José Francisco Molina or “Molina”, as he is popularly known, explained how he felt when he was diagnosed with cancer and how he faced it. “Exercising helped me overcome cancer” he said, and explained how fatigued he felt during the chemotherapy cycles and when he used to exercise, “on weeks off, when I could go to the gym and do strength training, with machines and weights, nothing out of this world. It helped me feel better.” And he added that, once recovered, when he re-joined his team, “I started preseason training like any normal footballer, nothing I was not used to doing normally, because I wasn’t injured, just tired”.
He also expressed his admiration for healthcare workers who are responsible for treating cancer. “I don’t consider myself anyone special for having overcome cancer. I don’t consider myself an example of anything because I don’t have any merit. Those who really deserve merit are the doctors, the healthcare staff that work in hospitals with patients every day. The people who are researching cancer treatment and that help others overcome it. Those are the people who deserve credit. In the end I just put myself in their hands.”
The director of Sanitas Hospitals Madrid, Miguel Ángel Juve, took the opportunity to highlight in the closing ceremony that “exercise is increasingly recommended by oncologists, and it doesn’t have to be elite sport, it can be pilates or just walking. ”