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Ailing Rio Games veteran to skip KL Games

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Against the giants during last year’s Rio Games, Cagayan de Oro’s Yan Lariba never surrendered nor quit.
That’s how stout her heart is.

Expect the same zeal from the country’s table tennis star as she wages a personal battle – a fight she vowed to win at all costs.

Diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) last Monday, Lariba, however, will skip this year’s Kuala Lumpur Games to focus on her battle against AML.

The news shocked families, friends and fellow national teammates knowing the 22-year-old former La Salle Star was at the thick of her training.

Joy Lanting, the family’s spokesperson and La Salle’s tournament coordinator, said Lariba is scheduled to undergo more procedures this week.

“We are all hoping for the best,” said Lanting, also a close friend of Lariba. “She’ll be undergoing treatment this week, but she’s in good spirits.”

Lanting said they first thought that Lariba was battling dengue after feeling dizzy and weak during training last week.

Lariba sought medical help from the Philippine Sports Commission and later on, from the Adventist Hospital, where she was first diagnosed with AML.

Family and friends took her to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City to get a second opinion, but they got the same result.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Sports Commission has approved a financial grant amounting to P375,000 to Lariba.

Friends and families are planning to sell t-shirts with the hashtag “KayaMoYAN”, as well as hosting charity games to raise funds for Lariba’s treatment.