KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 – The caterpillar scar on his left thigh tells the story that life is precious for footballer Azizan Baba as he battles the Big C (cancer) at the age of 39 years. The deadly disease has certainly thrown his life upside down.
As a professional footballer, the midfielder has taken many knocks in his career which saw him crisscross the country to earn a living.
In his prime, Azizan played for Melaka, Johor FC, Sarawak, Syarikat Air Melaka Berhad FC and Penang.
However, in a bizarre twist of fate, one knock while playing a friendly match with ex-state players in Lendu, Melaka last August has completely changed his life and he’s not sure what is in store for him. Azizan is now admitted at Hospital Sultan Ismail in Johor Bahru.
The life-threatening disease strikes when you least expect it.
According to Azizan, it was ”just a normal knock” in the match in Lendu. However, at the end of September there was some swelling on his left thigh but left it at that.
It was only in December when things did not improve, he sought treatment at the Melaka General Hospital where an ultrasound scan revealed a hematoma and the blood clots removed on Dec 14.
Ten days later, Azizan said he got himself discharged from the hospital but the swelling became worse and the pain unbearable.
Azizan does not have an insurance policy or a medical card and when his predicament became known, his fans and supporters donated money for him to do an MRI at the Putra Specialist Hospital in Melaka. The blood clots were removed through surgery.
The laboratory tests on the blood clots confirmed it was an aggressive cancerous tumor and he was referred to the Hospital Sultan Ismail in Johor Bahru on Feb 9.
It is the scariest thing he is going through in his life but the father of eight is putting up a brave front to face the “Big C” battle.
On the financial front, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit him hard when the M3 League was canceled.
He was the head coach of Melaka City/Syarikat Air Melaka. The political upheaval saw a change of government in the state and unpaid salaries have made matters worse for Azizan.
Those who want to make financial contributions to Azizan can do so through his Maybank account 154026372544.
Former national Under-19 coach, Robert Alberts who also had coaching stints with Kedah, Sarawak and with clubs in Singapore (Tanjung Pahar and Home United), is sad to know about Azizan’s predicament.
”Azizan is a gentleman and a good player…a top-class professional giving his best both on and off the field,” said Alberts who now coaches Persib Bandung in the Indonesian League.