Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Epitomizes Hope In His Battle Against Leukemia

Christopher ChavezAnalyst IINovember 10, 2009

Undated: Kareem Abdul- Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers poses for the camera as he lays on the court.  Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The NBA's all-time points leader, the six time Most Valuable Player Award Winner, and most blocked shots leader is quite a resume for a basketball player. That was the type of a career that Kareem-Abdul Jabbar earned these titles throughout his 20 year career in the NBA.

When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said, "I had quite the career. I can't complain about that." That seems like an understatement. With the statistics that Abdul-Jabbar had it seemed more like a legacy than a career.

It seems like Abdul-Jabbar had it perfect and he was living the life, but two decades after he has played on a court professionally, the NBA's All-Time points leader has to overcome one more obstacle that many have been unable to. It is a hurdle in the way that has taken down giants and some of the most loved people in the world. The obstacle in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's way is cancer.

This month, the former Lakers' gentle giant, has decided to open up about his rare form of cancer. Last year he was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. This type of cancer targets the body's blood cells and can cause enlargement in several organs throughout.

Abdul-Jabbar is one of about an average of 5,000 people diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia every year. Without treatment and attention to the person's health the disease is most likely fatal. But the former basketball player has the doctors and staff to help keep an eye on his health throughout the day and night.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia has a wide range of side-effects that the patient will have to go through. The side-effects can range from diarrhea to fatigue.

But Abdul-Jabbar is very optimistic about his battle against this disease. Recently he has been open to learning and teaching others by using the skills that he has attained over the years. He has helped coach the Lakers, produce documentary films, and is learning about the music that he loves, Jazz.

The important thing for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his fans to have is optimism and look at the bright side. Abdul-Jabbar has found light in a dark situation and is not letting the darkness of his situation consume him or his support group, the fans.