Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Battling Leukemia
By Bruin Basketball Report
Former UCLA great and NBA Hall-of-famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is being treated for a rare form of leukemia, and the basketball great said his prognosis is encouraging.
The NBA's all-time leading scorer had chronic myeloid leukemia diagnosed last December.
"Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) is the ultimate competitor and with the fight he has, he'll beat this thing," said UCLA head men's basketball coach Ben Howland. Everyone in the UCLA family is praying and pulling for him."
The 62-year-old Abdul-Jabbar said his doctor didn't give 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 treats the illness.
Citing the way Los Angeles Lakers teammate Magic Johnson brought awareness to HIV, Abdul-Jabbar said he wants to do the same for his form of blood cancer, which can be fatal if left untreated.