Wade beat cancer to become top Australia keeper

Wade beat cancer to become top Australia keeper

Australian cricketer Mathew Wade battled cancer to become the national squad's number one gloveman.

File Photo

As a 16-year-old, when most youngsters worry about what they are going to do in life, Wade went through chemotherapy to overcome testicular cancer. 

The Australian keeper found out about his condition by accident. He was hit in the groin during a state football game.

"I went in and got it checked and the doctor basically said if I hadn't been hit in the testicle, maybe I would never have known the tumour was there, so I was pretty lucky I got hit in the nuts and got it checked," Wade was quoted as saying by The Saturday Age.

"It was just a surreal sort of thing. It didn't hit home until I sat there and they told me basically that I was going to go through chemotherapy and lose my hair and all that sort of stuff. As a young bloke at 16, I think that's when it hit home that this was pretty serious. Before that I didn't really know, I just thought I'd have an operation and it would be taken care of. Then, sitting down and talking about it, I realised how serious it was and I was pretty lucky to get through it."

Australia have a history of producing some of the best wicket-keeper batsmen in world cricket. Wade's teammates feel that his fierce self-belief and strong character would take him to similar success.

Wade needed all of the mental toughness and resolve to get through two cycles of cancer treatment

"For a couple of years I really just sat back and enjoyed the little things. I wasn't as driven for a period," Wade said.

During the time of his diagnosis he began a plumbing apprenticeship thinking that he would never play professional sport again.

"When I got diagnosed with testicular cancer, that was at a pretty crucial time for my footy. I kept playing, but it wasn't probably as intense as what it could have been. I floated through that period and started the apprenticeship because I thought professional sport was out of the question."

Wade though had to bide his time to be taken seriously in Australia. He could not break into the Tasmania team with Tim Paine being the number one choice. He decided to shift to Victoria and he feels that this was the most important decision he had made.

"It's the biggest decision I've ever made to date, to make the move to Victoria, and I thank my parents, I suppose, for pushing me out the door a little bit. Thankfully I made the decision to move over, it's the best thing I've ever done."

Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who is undergoing treatment for lung cancer, has another inspiration to get back to full-fitness. Yuvraj has publicly said that reading Lance Armstrong's book has driven him to make a swift return.

Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer and after making full recovery he came back and won the Tour de France, one of the most gruelling cycle races, a record seven consecutive times.