Having just celebrated her 22nd birthday, world number 28 Alisa Kleybanova has revealed she is fighting cancer. Kleybanova has been absent from the WTA for some time now and has released a statement explaining her absence.
“It’s my birthday today and I want to thank all of you for the wonderful messages. I haven’t written anything for a long time about why I haven’t been on tour, so that’s why I’m writing this today. It’s not an easy time for me right now. I’ve been a bit unlucky with my health. I have Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer.
I’ve been having treatment in Italy and it has been going well, but it takes lots of patience and I’ve had to be really strong to get through this. The good news is after I do treatment for a few more months, if I feel well, there’s a chance I’ll be able to play tennis again
I really miss playing – I miss seeing fans and friends around the world, I miss hitting the ball, I miss everything. Tennis has been my life for the last 15 years.
There are a few reasons I’m undergoing treatment in Italy. First, I have a training base and many close friends here, so it’s like home.
Second, they have a really great hospital here that specialises in this problem; I’ve been going there since the problem started, so the doctors know me well. It’s the best place for me to be – the surroundings help me stay strong.
This is the toughest time in my life, and I hope it always stays the toughest time in my life.
I’m sure I’ll be able to overcome this – it’s just a matter of patience and time. When this is over, everything will be even better than before.
I won’t be on tour for a little while, but I will see you all again soon.”
Having been diagnosed with cancer myself at 24 and fighting it for the last two years I have huge sympathy for the traumatic, life changing struggle Alisa now faces. Hopefully her treatment progresses smoothly and she is able to work her way back to peak health and fitness.
The fight ahead may be significant for Alisa, and it will take time for her to overcome the emotional trials she now faces, but with some lucky she will come out the other side happier and healthier.
Best of luck Alysa.