After five rounds of chemotherapy and two operations, Robbie Hageman fought one last time, but camp didn’t go the way the Dutch kickboxer wanted | More sports
Two operations, 28 radiotherapy treatments and five chemotherapy treatments. Dutch kickboxer Robbie Hageman (31) has been through it all, but still wanted to say goodbye in the ring. It happened Saturday night, and how. Now he moves on to the “most important fight of his life”. After his last chemotherapy, he went on vacation to Italy. “My parents think this may be the last time, although I have no doubt that I will recover.”
Covering things, Robbie Hageman is not a fan of that. Give him a microphone and he’ll shout whatever comes into his head. Even after his farewell as a kickboxer, in a well-stocked indoor sports center in Eindhoven, he let his heart run free. Just before his fight against Rachid Belani (47), he was told not to give hard blows to the head. A line across the bill for Hageman, who had trained so hard and wanted to say “full house” goodbye.
He and Belani both won, but Hageman was visibly struggling. “We live in a world where things are a bit girlish, I think that’s a shame. I said goodbye to sport as a woman, we weren’t allowed to hit each other on the head… Maybe I’m a little negative sometimes, but I also want to be positive. I am happy with this farewell. If you look at the room, where everyone is calling my name. It does something to me.
Just a few days ago, Hageman received chemotherapy and took pills, but his illness has not yet forced him to make very severe cuts in his sports program and therefore in his condition. “I felt very fit. Maybe not as fit as before, but good enough to make a real comeback. But I always promised my wife and my family not to fight anymore after this game.
Hageman reflects on the past five years. After being knocked out in 2018 and undergoing a mandatory brain scan, he received some bad news. Very bad news: the resident of Eindhoven has a life-threatening head tumor and, according to doctors in the Netherlands, will not age very long. He can’t just put up with it. “One of the best doctors in the world said it was impossible for me to get back in the ring. I showed it was still possible. Thank you Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life for Me.
Chantal has been there for me for nine years, she does everything for me. And so I should have thanked a lot more people.
Tears rolled down his cheeks in Eindhoven, Hageman hadn’t seen those emotions coming either. He is normally sobriety itself and trusts God. Less than half an hour after the fight and his speech, he scratches his head. “Maybe I should have phrased it a little differently, but I’m just saying what I think. I got particularly emotional when my wife and kids entered the ring. Chantal has been there for me for nine years, she does everything for me and I should have thanked a lot more people.
Well-known fighters such as Rico Verhoeven cheered on the terminally ill Hageman in a farewell video. They called him a special person who inspires people. “You are now saying goodbye to sport, but you are inspiring many generations. I hope you will stay involved,” Verhoeven said.
475,000 euros needed for processing
Hageman doesn’t know yet. He will continue his medical journey this fall in the United States, where an alternative treatment method offers hope for a future in which he can watch his three sons grow up and his daughter – his wife is heavily pregnant. A lot of money was raised again during the gala in Eindhoven, the counter is now at 200,000 euros botched.
A total of 475,000 euros is needed. Worry about later, said Hageman, who wants to reminisce about his goodbyes first. Because it’s really done now. “It’s been awesome, now I’m moving on to the most important fight of my life.”
“After the last chemotherapy, I will first go on vacation to Italy. My parents asked me to accompany them, they see the future a little darker. Such a holiday is also good for resting after chemotherapy. They think this may be the last time, although I have no doubt that I am cured. After all, they also said that I would never be in the ring again.
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