August 2015 – that month will most likely stay in Ruben Lenten’s memory as the start of the most difficult challenge of his life so far. The extreme kiteboarder wasn’t about to attempt to break a world record or shoot a new video in the storm of the century… This time, the battle wasn't against the elements but took place inside of him, and it was going to be against cancer.
When doctors discovered a 9cm by 9cm tumour pressing on Ruben’s heart, his world turned upside-down, and he freaked out… for 10 minutes: “When they gave me the diagnosis, I broke down. I was sobbing and screaming. I thought my life was over. That lasted 10 minutes,” he told The Red Bulletin. After that, Ruben was back at doing what he does best, aside from Megaloops – positive thinking.
We all see the positive quotes on Instagram and Facebook, read them in magazines and hear them in speeches. But doing positive thinking's another ball game when you're fighting cancer.
Never letting the bright side get out of sight and not letting yourself look into the abyss were what Ruben had to do during the six rounds of chemotherapy over six months, all the side effects it might bring and amid the fear of dying – he kept the positive attitude he'd always had: “You determine your life yourself at moments like those by deciding whether you’re going to focus your attention on positive or negative things,” he said in that same Red Bulletin interview.
Then came the good news: on March 16, 2016, Ruben posted on his social media platforms that he was finally cancer-free.
All of a sudden you’re free and you can just shake it off. That’s the most magical feeling in the world.Ruben Lenten
Glad to see you back on the water, Ruben, and YIIIIHHHAAAAA indeed!
Ruben's starring in the first kiteboarding feature film in history, Chapter One – The Kiteboard Legacy Begins, which will premiere later this year in San Francisco and be available on Red Bull TV.