Last Sunday was the first day of the rest of his life. From new life. After months of battling testicular cancer, discovered last July, Sebastian Aller is back as a footballer. Entering the game in the 62nd minute, to the applause of 82,000 spectators at the Westfalenstadion sold out for the occasion, the Borussia Dortmund striker took part in the 4-3 victory over Augsburg. At his feet are a pair of boots with the words “F*ck cancer” written on them. At the end of the match, he was joined on the pitch by his three children. If he didn’t score in the second leg, his personal victory is stronger, more important. Essential.
It is this fight, its months in hell, that the Rhys-Oranges (Essonne) native told the daily newspaper L’Équipe this Wednesday. A poignant interview in which the Ivorian striker of the national team does not hide anything. From his first symptoms when he is Ivorian selected, to healing, moments of doubt but not fear – “We had to continue to be mentally strong” – through an announcement to his relatives, his wife, who is on holiday with her three children, but also his mother. “I call my siblings to tell them to be with my mom tonight because my aunt, who was also her best friend, died of cancer in February 2020… It remains a trauma in the family and I knew that She will take the news hard. . »
He also credits two surgeries and four five-day chemo sessions. “Chemistry broke my body from the inside, the operation from the outside. So you’re picking up little by little. And after chemotherapy, although you feel pretty good, you really look sick, you have sunken eyes, no hair, black lips … And for the first few days, because of the catheter in my throat, I had the voice of a guy who caught a cold. You had to come to your senses to find her because you spoke so quietly, without power. It was strange (smiles). »
Never feeling sorry for himself, even with a hint of humor that permeates the entire interview, he says that the opinions of others change, that he realizes that he causes pity for others. “You want to show that everything is in order, but some pitying look, I don’t know, which shows you that you are sick. Actually, it’s good! Don’t worry (laughs)! It’s not mean, people are compassionate and I understand that because they want to talk about it. Infrequently, a football player gets cancer. »
The presence of his family, his friends and Tanguy Fleury, his physical trainer, with whom he competes in the half marathon, was necessary to keep him going through his long months. During this experience that changed him. “There are moments in the disease that bring people together, this is good. And we are opening. We are not exactly the same, we no longer have the same story, the same way of facing challenges. There is so much to experience, you’ll get even more fun when you get through it all. Strong evidence.