24-year-old Eric Shanteau is sitting on cloud nine after learning he will be heading to Bejing to compete for the U.S. in the 200 meter breaststroke. It is a welcomed change of emotions for Eric as he was diagnosed with testicular cancer justone weekbefore the trials.
Eric is holding off on treatment until after he returns from Beijing. Luckily his cancer has not spread, and when caught early (as with ANY cancer) it has a 95 percent chance of survival. He putting off surgery until after Beijing because he doesn’t want to disrupt his lifelong goal of swimming in the Olympics, according to an exclusive AP interview.
“I am in touch with several doctors around the country and they’re getting my test results back and I’m keeping in touch with them as things come up,” said Eric.
Eric stressed he’s not willing to risk his life just to compete in his first Olympics. But, after considering the benefits of immediate treatment, he decided to put off surgery because it would keep him out of the water for at least two weeks, ruining his Beijing preparations. His doctors have stressed there would be no risk in competing in the Olympics.
Eric Shanteau is fortunate to have found his cancer early, and to be competing for the U.S. He will have much on his shoulders in Bejing. I, along with so many, will be cheering Eric along.