Portuguesa goalkeeper thought about quitting football after suffering from cancer of his son

Carlos Tomazela was named Paulista A2’s best goalkeeper and helped Portuguesa win the championship title, last Sunday (17), and return to elite state football after seven years. But the story could have been very different. In November 2021, Tomazella’s three-year-old son, Gustavo, was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, a rare type of bowel cancer, and the goalkeeper considered taking a career break to devote himself to his son’s health care. But after speaking with his wife, doctors and the club’s board of directors, he chose to continue with football. The decision, however difficult, was paying off.

Tomazella and his wife Natalia noticed that something was not right with their son in November of last year. “He was complaining of colic a month ago. We did all the tests including imaging, but nothing was revealed. He was suspected of having lactose intolerance or worms. The pediatrician started following up with the necessary medications. After the treatment. I started, my son did not He is complaining of pain. But on November 8th, that is Sunday, he started to have severe abdominal pain, and I noticed a small ball in his stomach. I thought it was strange, so we ran to the pediatrician” said the guard. UOL.

Goalkeeper Tomazela and his son Gustavo, who suffers from rare cancer

Photo: personal archive

In tests, doctors diagnosed intussusception (a blockage in which part of the intestine bends and enters itself), and the boy underwent emergency surgery. Thomazella says, the cancer was only discovered on the operating table.

“When the doctor opened him up for surgery, he noticed he had a tumor the size of a peach,” says the goalkeeper. The player explained that the biopsy found that the tumor was malignant, and that the boy would need chemotherapy, which has an initial duration of 26 weeks.

After the surgery, Gustavo was hospitalized for 22 days – 12 of which were in the intensive care unit – during which he underwent high doses of chemotherapy.

“For us, it was a shock, a blow, because we didn’t expect it. [ao hospital] to have surgery and was already in shock for being a 3 year old son. We’d never heard of this intestinal indulgence, so it was all very new to us. When we got the news that it was a tumor, it seemed that we lost our ground… We were so shaken, we didn’t know what to do. It is inevitable, the first idea that comes to mind is always the worst,” explained Tumazilla.

professional break

When his son underwent surgery, Tomazela was on leave and was able to follow Gustavo’s full hospitalization. With the return to Portuguesa scheduled for December 6, he has considered pausing his career to devote himself entirely to his son’s health.

“I had a serious conversation with my wife. At first, I was thinking of taking a break from my career to be with them. [esposa e filho]The goalkeeper said. The doctors and nurses said that his development was very good, that they had never seen such a strong child before, and that his condition was the best he could be. So all of this made me change my mind a little bit.”

Tomazela explained that the fact that he played for a club in Sao Paulo, the same city where his son was hospitalized, his wife decided to stop working and the club’s understanding made him calm to devote himself to football.

“I’ve spoken to the club’s staff, they have been very flexible.” Tomazilla, if you need to miss some training to go to the hospital with your son, that’s not a problem. Just tell us in advance. “So all this made me feel safer to come back, have more peace of mind and get back to football.”

By choosing not to pause his career, Tomazela, who started in 20 out of 21 matches in Paulista A2, was awarded the title and award for best goalkeeper in the competition, with only seven goals conceded.

Paulista A2 - Rodrigo Corsi / FPF - Rodrigo Corsi / FPF Thomazella wins Paulista A2 Best Goalkeeper award

Thomazella won the Paulista A2 Best Goalkeeper award

Photo: Rodrigo Corsi / FPF

crowd emotion

Tomazela decided to speak publicly about the drama at home almost three months after his son’s surgery, in early February, after a 1-0 win over Limenci, in the fourth round of the competition. When he spoke about his problems, Portuguesa fans quickly embraced him, who carried banners to the stadium, wishing “strength” to the goalkeeper and his family.

“The fans embraced me in an inexplicable way. After that day when I announced, we went to play with São Caetano, at home, and there were already banners in the stadium, they sent strength to me, to my son Gustavo, and they shouted The name for me was a great surprise. The passion they embraced Its the case, the prayer chains and the countless messages I was getting from the fans…we created a very nice bond in the stadium and I also had this attitude with my son.It’s a huge emotion I have with this crowd, who just supported us, gave strength to me and my family “.

dream come true

Gustavo, son of goalkeeper Carlos Tumazela, at Kanende Stadium - Personal archive / Screams of Fukuyama - Personal archive / Chris Fukuyama

Gustavo, son of goalkeeper Carlos Tomazela, at Canende Stadium

Photo: Personal Archive / Crys Fukuyama

Entering with Gustavo on his lap and presenting him to the crowd in the 2-0 win over São Bento, which awarded the Paulista A2 title to Portuguesa, was a dream come true. In an interview after the competition’s fourth round match, Tomazela said he dreamed of the situation he experienced last Sunday.

to me UOL, He tried to describe how he felt last weekend. “It was a mixture of feelings. It’s hard to say with words. The chip hasn’t sunk yet. You have access and crowned the title with that traditional Portuguese shirt, so heavy, inside football it’s so big. And I’m living a dream. I’m still in this competition, I ended up being It was about revealing my dream of coming in with my son and being able to give this trophy in the final and seeing it become tangible, and it is being fulfilled, it was a mixture of feelings that is impossible to describe.”

But to enter the field with Gustavo, who turned 4 in January, Tomazela needed a special permit from doctors, because the boy was still undergoing cancer treatment and had low immunity. “Obviously, if the doctors said he couldn’t go, I would never question that. But we got the doctors OK. But we’re always careful to wear a mask all the time and try to be a little reclusive.”

Don’t think it was easy, though, to get the boy, who was excited to see the crowd sing his name and party on the title. “It was an unforgettable moment. Everyone started shouting his name. He looked with a face like that, who couldn’t believe it.” Wow, are they yelling at me?! “He was so happy, so happy, even today [segunda-feira] In the afternoon, I was playing with him, and he started chanting the song that people were singing,” he said, pointing to the chorus, “Ão, o, oo Gustavinho é Leão.”

Expectations indicate that the first phase of the boy’s treatment, in which chemotherapy sessions are weekly, will end in the middle of this year. Then, drug applications are spaced further apart until they are no longer needed. But relying on Gustavinho’s enthusiasm, the interest of his parents and the affection of the Portuguesa fans, cancer was already defeated in the Tomazilla family.

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