Ont. man given months to live beats the odds, hopes to inspire others with his music
Three-time cancer survivor Tymaz Bagbani beat the odds and now hopes to inspire others, sharing his near-death leukemia journey through his music.
The 23-year-old East Gwillimbury, Ont., man, a former CTV Athlete of the Week, said he wants to use his rap music to help others facing challenges know they can overcome anything if they believe it's possible.
"With my music, I try to always have a specific message, a positive message," Bagbani said. "I would say tough times don't last; tough people do."
Bagbani is working on his debut album Chosen, which he plans to release early in 2022.
He released songs online, including Dive Deep and Hold On Pain Ends, which tell the story of his battles with cancer - the disease that ended his dreams of playing professional soccer in Europe.
BAGBANI'S CANCER BATTLE
Bagbani was diagnosed with leukemia twice before his 14th birthday. Following treatment and a bone marrow transplant, he thought he was healthy enough to chase his soccer dreams.
At 15, while trying out for professional soccer teams in Spain, Bagbani fell ill again.
"It was just a tough blow because I was a soccer player my whole life, and that's all I ever wanted to do," he recalled
This time, doctors told him he would be confined to a bed and a wheelchair.
"I beat it and then actually relapsed again for the third time after that, and I was given six months to live," he said even that diagnosis couldn't stop his determination.
"Just keep that positive mind-frame and know that your situation right now is not forever and look at what is in the future and it will come to you," he said before taking his morning medication in his home on Monday.
"Basically, the thing that cured my cancer is the thing that took away everything else. This was my second bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow is from somebody else's body, so your body doesn't recognize it, and it starts to go to war with itself," he explained.
"The hope and the drive to push on and know that I can be great and was put here for a reason and that I have a purpose, and that's my music," he said.
A MOTHER'S DETERMINATION
In 2011, his mother appeared on CTV News appealing for help in securing a bone marrow match for her son.
"Tymaz loves life and never gave up," said Elham Badali. "He survived three times."
Bagbani's mother explained how her son was in the intensive care unit on three occasions and how he was given a grim prognosis, and still, she encouraged him to fight.
"You need to be a warrior, as your name is," she recalled telling her son. "You will make it. You have made it. You're here for a reason." Badali said she and Tymaz "were not giving up."
Crippled by cancer, Bagbani fought on and sought further treatment.
After another transplant, he was in remission, but he found himself unable to walk again.
With help from his mother, Bagbani underwent another surgery, which brought strength back to his legs.
He learned to walk again and wants to continue coaching kids soccer in Newmarket.
Bagbani's love for the game is the strongest it's been in years.
Having found a new purpose in life, the young man is living up to his name.
Tymaz Bagbani remains undefeated against cancer.