Life can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster, with the many ups and downs we have to face.
For Muay Thai World Champion Singtongnoi Por Telakun, his highest points include having a successful Muay Thai career and being one of the greatest Muay Thai World Champions of his era. During his career, he fought and beat some of the best fighters in the world and won the Lumpinee Muay Thai World Championship, the WMC World Championship, and was named Rajadamnern fighter of the year.
After retiring, he secured a dream job as a Muay Thai instructor at Evolve MMA in Singapore. However, he recently faced his lowest point and fought his toughest battle in life – cancer.
“I was stunned and I couldn’t believe it,” Singtongnoi recalls. “I asked ‘do I really have cancer?’ and I started to cry. I was in disbelief.”
After having hearing difficulties in his left ear, Singtongnoi went to see the doctor, but was initially told that it wasn’t anything serious. “On my second visit, the doctor referred me to a specialist at the hospital,” he shares.
At the hospital, Singtongnoi got his nose and ear checked – and that was when he discovered that he had cancer. “The cancerous tumor was about 2 centimeters long,” he explains. “It went through my whole nasal cavity, all the way down to the lymph nodes in my neck.”
This piece of news broke Singtongnoi’s heart, as he had envisioned a bright future filled with many plans. “I thought I was going to die for sure,” he admits. “The first thing I thought about was my family and kids. I was worried about their future… They wouldn’t have a father to look after them.”
However, that was not the only bleak thought that would plague his mind throughout the course of his treatment, which consisted of 36 sessions of radiation therapy and 7 sessions of chemotherapy.
“I didn’t have the energy to do anything. All I could do was sleep. Even the most tiring moments of my fighting career weren’t as tiring as this,” he shares. “My throat hurt, and I had burns from the radiation all over my neck. It was hard for me to walk and all I wanted to do was throw up.”
“It was both tiring and torturous, but I had faith that I would recover,” he adds. “I had faith in the doctors.”
Fortunately, Singtongnoi’s unbreakable warrior spirit enabled him to soldier on and keep fighting – even during the toughest moments of his treatment. “I wanted to quit, but I thought about my children’s future and the people that I love,” he reveals. “I couldn’t quit as I had to fight for the people that I loved.”
After months of treatment, Singtongnoi received the good news that he had recovered. “I was ecstatic,” he shares. “I could once again see a bright future for myself and my family.”
There’s no doubt that the fight against cancer was a challenging one for Singtongnoi. However, he chose to remain strong – even during the most difficult moments.
“What I learned from having cancer is that life is valuable and that you should not take it for granted,” he muses. “It’s important to love yourself and take care of your loved ones, as you don’t know when you’ll die. I learned that the most important thing is to have a fighting spirit.”
Perhaps this is something we can learn from him and draw inspiration from, the next time we face our own obstacles.
The following article was written by Jason Petlueng