After being diagnosed with the disease at the age of five, Jonas Dantas found a way to a new life in sport.
At age five, Jonas Dantas was diagnosed with leukemia. For three years, he suffered from severe treatments that left sequelae such as nervousness, anxiety, muscle pain and even bone pain. After recovery, the doctors indicated the practice of a sport and the young man chose the basketball. Now, aged 14, the boy says that the sport has changed his life. “Basketball changed everything I had in my life, it improved my respect for my opponents, before I always wanted to fight and it helped my whole life, it changed a lot”, he says. Only in 2019, the Jácomo Stávale school, in São Paulo, participated in 11 sport championships in four categories, being champions in eight moments, two titles with the boy’s help. Professor Alexandre José Silvério says that Jonas has become one of the most talented players at the school. “At first it was for him to have quality of life, a physical activity is a quality of life. Today he is having other gains, he is a more extroverted, happy, playful boy, he has a nice quality of life. We transformed his life through basketball,” he says.
In addition to being part of the school team, Jonas Dantas is also part of the Overcoming Institute, an NGO that seeks to make a difference in the lives of public school students. The institute’s director, Joana Miraglia, said the boy was invited to the transition team and, in the future, he can participate in the Federation’s basketball championships. “Our mission is to contribute to the personal development of children and adolescents by promoting the development of socio-emotional skills through the integration between education and competitive sport. We work on two pillars, the developed pillar, which we work within 30 public schools, training teachers, and in the competitive pillar we have seven teams in the basketball modality, which are federated, so the students compete”, he said. Currently, Instituto Superação serves 100 years of state schools in São Paulo and Minas Gerais.
*With information from the reporter Victor Moraes