When Hongkonger Kelvin Lau felt dazed and struggled to get up in the course of a suit at the 2018 Asian Games, he and his companion knew things weren’t right. The diagnosis hit especially difficult as the novice athletes, who had fought towards the odds and been self-funded for years, had, in the end, hit the big time.
Wong Pui-lam and Kelvin Lau Tsz-ho have been apprehensive as they stepped onto the sizzling sand of Indonesia’s JSC Beachball Arena on the Asian Games in Palembang final August. The seashore volleyball duo from Hong Kong had fought against all odds to come back this far. Success at the Asian Games, which occur every four years, had continually been their ultimate purpose – the whole thing they’d labored for.
But something turned into not right.
Lau has been feeling unwell on his way to Indonesia, and now on the field, he is starting to feel dazed. Wong suggested swapping positions, so Lau should take the much less traumatic function of defender within the backcourt vicinity while he played blocker on the net.
During one point, Wong sent the ball excessive up into the air for his associate to hit. But when he grew to become round, he saw that now not simplest had Lau neglected the ball; however, he changed into a bent over, hands on his knees. “That’s once I knew – something was actually incorrect,” Wong says. They lost to their warring parties, the house group. Afterward, the Hong Kong crew’s doctor checked Lau and located he had a raging fever. With furrowed brows, he informed them: “It can be an infection or a heart hassle. There are many possibilities.”
A blood test on the local health facility exposed an anomaly in Lau’s white blood cell matter and surprisingly low ranges of hemoglobin and platelets. The health practitioner could not provide a firm diagnosis but advised him to return domestic for an extra complete test-up.
My English turned into not very good, but I stuck the word ‘most cancers,’” says Wong, who nonetheless had no longer realized how extreme Lau’s situation became and idea the physician may have made a mistake. Reality most effective set in whilst the physician issued an ultimatum: “If he doesn’t go, he may die.
The declaration weighs so heavily on Wong’s coronary heart that even months later the 27-year-antique has a problem repeating it, decreasing his voice to a whisper as he recollects the moment. Lau but stays surprisingly calm. “Well, there’s nothing you could do but to accept it besides,” the reticent 24-yr-antique explains.
At the time, although, neither knew a way to react. Wong packed their luggage and flew again to Hong Kong, in which a waiting ambulance took Lau to Queen Mary Hospital. Lau’s lingering suspicion was confirmed – he had leukemia, a situation in which the bone marrow produces too many peculiar white blood cells, which usually help push back infections.
Both Wong and Lau took up volleyball in high faculty as a hobby. They came throughout every other, even as reading at a vocational college, and commenced partnering in 2014, placing their attractions at the Asian Games.
As beginner athletes, they labored hard to fund their dream. Both coached volleyball at colleges and work as online fitness trainers for extra cash (“He awakened at six to try this!
Wong exclaims about his teammate). The pair skilled at night and during the weekends, spending hours at the beach enduring punishing heat in the summertime and chilling cold in winter. “Just a couple of minutes on the sand, and your ft could be numb from the cold,” Wong says.