Yup you read it right, The king of Sky Hook himself Kareem Abdul Jabbar is being treated for a rare form of leukemia, and the basketball great said his prognosis is encouraging. Jabbar was diagnosed last December with chronic myeloid leukemia.
His doctors didn't gave any guarantees, but informed him: "You have a very good chance to live your life out and not have to make any drastic changes to your lifestyle."
Abdul Jabbar is taking an oral medication for the disease. He is a paid spokesman for the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, which makes a drug that treat the illness
"Ive never been a person to share my private life. But i can help save lives," he said at a midtown Manhattan conference room. "It's incumbent on someone like me to talk about this."
Abdul Jabbar became concerned last year after feeling odd sensations. He went for test at UCLA.
"I was getting hot flashes and sweats on a regular basis," he said. "That's not normal, even for my age."
An exam showed his white blood cell count was "sky high" and a doctor quickly diagnosed his condition. At first, all Abdul Jabbar heard was the word "leukemia"
"I was scared," "I thought it was all the same. I thought it could mean i have a month to live." "That was my first wuestion," he said. "Was I going to make it?"
Abdul Jabbar said he took the approach of a samurai, to face death without fear. "I had my face on," he said.
Instead, doctors told him CML was treatable with proper medication and monitoring.