Bibian Mentel has successfully undergone surgery for a tumor in her neck. The former snowboard champion underwent a risky five-hour operation on Thursday morning, which according to husband Edwin Spee was successful. He reports that in a message on Facebook.
Prior to the operation, Spee announced that Mentel, 46, was at risk of having a spinal cord injury. However, doctors told him after the procedure that everything went well. "Everything seems to have gone well," he says in a video that he posts while waiting for Mentel to wake up again. "It is now just an hour and a half to turn thumbs until Bieb can move everything itself properly."
Mentel has been struggling with various tumors in her body for a long time. After she was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2001, her lower leg had to be amputated to prevent metastases. Since then, the disease has returned several times. After an operation in March, she was unable to move her legs properly for a while.
Cancer surfaced for the eleventh time
At the end of July Mentel announced that the cancer had surfaced for the eleventh time, with tumors in her neck and back. In Summer with Art , the 46-year-old sports champion later said that she feels physically "pretty good". "As long as that lasts, I choose to continue to enjoy every day. In the end, nobody knows when life will end."
This choice is conscious, Mentel said in the talk show. "I have a sweet man and three very sweet children. I want to do fun things with that and enjoy it as long as I can."
Mentel became Dutch snowboard champion six times in the half pipe and snowboard cross sections. In 2002 she became Dutch champion snowboard cross with a prosthesis. She won gold medals at the 2014 Paralympic Games and 2018.