Joana Bolling had no doubts when she had to give up the Olympics to save the life of her father, a former basketball player, seriously ill
Joana with her father – Source: Instagram
Joana Bolling, 22, Argentina's national handball team, moved the world by giving up on the Rio 2016 Olympics to donate a kidney to her long-suffering father. And he announced it through his Instagram profile with this sentence taken from Lilo & Stitch:
Joana means family. Family means that no one is abandoned. Or forgot.
The Olympics are every athlete's dream, but the promise of the Albiceleste national team had no doubts when it came to saving the life of his dad, Elnews, who was forced to undergo dialysis three times a week for kidney failure.
Elnews, a former basketball champion, did everything he could to dissuade his daughter from giving him his kidney: he hid her medical records, searched all over the world for a compatible donor, looked for the deepest motivations, but nothing. Joana has been adamant.
The surgery was performed on April 5 last year. Now for the player a period of convalescence has begun which will keep her away from the Olympics. But the sacrifice was well rewarded as it allowed the father to live:
Without a doubt this is much more important than handball. In my family there have always been the values of commitment and sacrifice that are part of sport, to step aside and give up things to achieve a goal.
This summer Joana will follow the Olympics from home, but it doesn't matter: she has already won her battle and will still return to compete for her national team in the world qualifiers. His gesture emulates other great sportsmen such as Aries Merritt, the world record holder of the 110 obstacles, operated on the kidney after the bronze in Beijing and Jonah Lomu.
Even outside the world of sport there are examples of people who have done great acts of generosity. Like the journalist Irene Vella who donating her kidney saved her husband's life.