From overcoming cancer to running 21 kilometers: the story of overcoming a man from Gijón

From overcoming cancer to running 21 kilometers: the story of overcoming a man from Gijón

2023-04-29 04:00:31

Luis Prieto says that life has not given him good genetics, but it has given him a strong character and a tenacious will. Very hard, or as he says, very stubborn, you have to be to overcome lung cancer in January and be at the finish line today to run the Gijón Half Marathon. This man from Gijón had one of the lobes of his right lung removed due to a cancer that threatened to metastasize. Some problems in his lymphatic system left him admitted to HUCA for more than 30 days. He lost ten kilos, stayed skinny, but never lost faith despite the fact that at more times than he would like he came to see his future very black for him. His ID says that he is 67 years old, but he feels that he has been reborn. To celebrate it, he wants to put the 21 kilometers of the classic Gijón test between chest and back. “I’m nervous, but I’m tremendously excited,” he says.

Luis Prieto, warming up yesterday in the Plaza de Europa, in Gijón. | Naiara Pilo


Together with his wife Candelas Guerra, Prieto runs a well-known gym on Donato Argüelles street in Gijón. He has been a fan of the sport his entire life. He has already run long distances in the past, but had to give it up due to hip problems. He has two prosthetics on each side of his pelvis. “I’m like the bionic man,” he says with a laugh. Like many, like so many, he has been a smoker. Cancer has already knocked on his door inopportunely in the past. He overcame another tumor in the ureter. The second time the disease crossed his life it was unexpected. As often happens, the cancer caught him when he was going to the doctor for something else. In his case, because he has osteoarthritis, a lump appeared on his clavicle. The lump was nothing, although the spot they saw on his lung was. “Everything pointed to it being a tumor, but they couldn’t biopsy it. Everyone recommended that I have surgery because what they told me is that if it was malignant in a matter of six months it could invade the entire lymphatic system,” summarizes Prieto.

He entered HUCA on December 13 and left on January 13. He underwent surgery (he had a lobectomy) to avoid greater evils. He went in not knowing if the stain was cancer or not. They confirmed that he was. The worst thing was that it led to a problem in the lymphatic system and he began to lose weight without control. Candelas Guerras is his wife and, along with his son, his great support. “One of the times I went to see her I almost didn’t recognize her. She was in a wheelchair and looked like she was 20 years older,” she recounts. Prieto did not give up. From the first moment he dedicated himself to walking down the hospital corridor and going downstairs to catch his breath. “Everything was very hard, because when I was discharged I could barely walk five meters without drowning. Little by little I was regaining weight, but I had to eat wildly,” she says, now in tears.

The training was hard. “I was walking five meters and I could hardly walk because I was drowning,” she adds. Things got better and now, in a matter of weeks, the doctors have already confirmed that his lung capacity is recovered and that he can run without major problems. He does not forget, yes, where he comes from. “I have to thank the doctors a lot, especially Dr. Yelen. The patient also counts a lot. He influences a lot if you are a fighter,” he explains. He also tells that he made three promises for himself when he was cured. First, take his family skiing outside. The second is to climb Peña Rueda (in Quirós) and the third is to run the Gijón Half Marathon. “I set myself the challenge of finishing, although I know that if I don’t finish, nothing will happen. There are more half marathons,” he says. In his case, it is very clear that just being on the starting line is a victory.

1,838 athletes will start

The XII MBA Half Marathon of Gijón will have 1,838 athletes at the starting line. The test begins today at 6:00 p.m. on the usual urban route that allows the achievement of good marks, which will also have official status since the circuit is approved by the Spanish Athletics Federation, whose road test calendar is part of. The start will take place on Avenida Albert Einstein and the finish will be at Las Mestas.

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