At the end of 2012, a tumor was discovered in my right upper leg. After 18 weeks of chemotherapy, the doctors decided to amputate my leg, which happened on 06/06/2013. Mentally this was a difficult period. But thanks to the support of family and friends, especially my wife, I have always remained positive. The hope that I could do sports again has pulled me through the rehabilitation period.
As early as January 2014, thanks to Anvasport, I got the opportunity to go skiing for the first time in my life. First on one leg for a few days, then with a prosthesis. This week was a major breakthrough in my rehabilitation process. I realized that everything is possible, even with a disability. The next step was a running prosthesis (a ‘blade’). At the beginning of 2015 I started training in athletics club AC Deinze, under the guidance of trainer Mieke Van Thuyne. A few months later I became Belgian Champion on the 100m and the 200m, with a Belgian record on the 200m! Because I have a too short stump, I will never be able to reach the international top in this sport.
In 2015 I occasionally went out for a ride on my bike. In the beginning these were rides of only 5 to 10km. Longer rides were physically not possible: riding on 1 leg turned out to be harder then I thought. Apparently pulling the pedal is a movement my muscles weren’twas used to. But I persisted, and week by week I was able to drive longer distances. At the beginning of 2016 I started to increase my training. In June 2016 I rode my very first race, the Belgian Championship, where I rode to bronze in my category.
In between I did swim trainings. I have a history as a triathlete and somehow I still hoped to be able to do triathlon again. In May 2016 I took part in the Belgian Championship Swimming, where I surprisingly swam some nice results: silver in the 50m freestyle, bronze in the 100m freestyle and 4th in the 400m freestyle. But swimming is a very technical sport, and I was too old to learn a perfect technique which could bring me to an international level.
In past years I was able to taste a number of sports: skiing, swimming, cycling, athletics. And it turned out that my favourite sport, cyclism, is the sport in which I’m best. As of 2017 I focus very specifically on paracycling. With the support of family, friends and sponsors, I hope to achieve my ultimate goal: a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games!