Atlético Madrid midfielder’s comeback from brain cancer and mother’s paralysis
AFC Wimbledon defender recalls first day in training
LONDON (AP) – AFC Wimbledon defender Jordan Spence had his first training session since making his comeback from cancer on Jan. 30 after spending the past six years in a hospital bed.
Former Chelsea striker Frank Lampard and club director of youth Adam Matthews offered to help Spence, who spent 16 months in a coma and is now a father of three children, with his comeback.
Spence, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma five years ago, was discharged from hospital on Tuesday for the beginning of his recovery from a brain injury he suffered in December 2010.
The 25-year-old told The Associated Press that his recovery has been “a long one” and that he hopes to be back in the team “sometime in the next month.”
“I’m not far away at all, and the most important thing is I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said. “When I first got it, I thought I’d be here for another two months. I was wrong. I’m still alive and kicking. It’s been a long road. But I’m going to make it back eventually. I can’t complain about anything. Everything I have done in the game has been for my family. This was all about the family, and the family is the most important thing for me.”
The midfielder, who joined Chelsea’s youth academy in the summer of 2008 after graduating from school, said he is determined to play for the first team at The Dell as long as he’s physically possible.
“My head isn’t even on the same level as it was before, and I’m going to keep getting better until I can get back to where I can,” he said. “I’ve probably been able to play for the last year when I was sick. I’ve gotten better with the time I’ve been in the hospital. It’s just a matter of being physically ready and mentally ready.”
Spence said the recovery has been extremely hard on his family but that “the family is all about