Go to contents

A Bud of Hope for an Incurable Disease

Posted August. 07, 2002 22:09,   


A rookie coach entered the professional basketball world with a hope of being the best basketball coach. However, a basketball coach in his thirties was unexpectedly notified an incurable disease in only three month.

The former pro basketball club Mobis coach Park, Seung-Il (31) is absorbed in erasing the word discouragement out of his mind. Instead, he is busy finding cure for the people, who suffer with same disease as his.

“We are now fighting with a disease that we don’t even know the name of it. Not long ago, there was a report that the development of AIDS vaccine was near, and I believe that the same miracle will be happened for this disease.” That is the article that Mr. Park published on the Korean Basketball League homepage recently. He decided to be the ‘missionary to let people know about the Lou Gehrig disease,’ which leads to death in apathy of world, and drew a big public attention right after he posted this article.

Mr. Park asked for public concern once his article was popularized saying, “Even the cure for AIDS, which was stigmatized as a fatal disease, is being developed, so if more people care for this disease, the patients can live with some hope.”

Mr. Park, who is 2m tall, went to Daejon High School and Yonsei University and joined the Kia Basketball Club, and he went to Brigham Young University in America to study coaching basketball, and he was a ‘next generation basketball coach’ hopeful at that time. After 2 years and 4 months of studying abroad, he came back to Korea with a coaching offer from the Mobis ball club on April; however, he was diagnosed as terrible disease in health check.

The official name of this disease, which was named after the star of the American pro baseball Lou Gehrig of the thirties, is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is a fatal disease that destroys the moving cells in the cerebrum and the spinal cord slowly, and most patients die within 5 years.

Although there are some 1,500 patients presumed in Korea, there are no cures as well as causes reported. That’s why he calls himself the ‘missionary to let people know about the Lou Gehrig disease.’ Mr. Park plans to let people know about the Lou Gehrig disease through various Internet media and to save up money for the research fund by the help of friends in basketball world. Already, college classmates Mun, Kyung-Eun (SK Bigs) and Kim, Jae-Hoon (LG) as well as Kim, Hoon (SBS), Woo, Ji-Won, Jung, In-Kyo (Mobis) are looking for ways to help him. “I cannot give up anything, yet.” Mr. Park pledged, “Although it’s a rare disease and very difficult because of expenses for treatment, I surely will find a way to conquer the disease.”

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com