View Full Version : Corina Morariu is in Remission!

auntie janie
Dec 12th, 2001, 07:21 PM
From CNNSI site, by Jon Wertheim

Outlook is optimistic for Morariu <br />Posted: Wednesday December 12, 2001 10:12 AM<br />******** *

She was watching herself in a movie. That's how Corina Morariu felt when she stepped on the court last spring. The Australian Open mixed-doubles champ and a singles player clinging, ever tenuously, to a top-50 ranking, Morariu felt like an imposter was playing in her place. As the tour snaked through the U.S. and Europe, she was losing to inferior players, mentally absent from the opening point of the match. Unable to concentrate, she would sometimes forget the score during games. Regardless of the conditions or the length of the match, invariably, she would be dog-tired afterward. At times she wondered whether she was subconsciously telling herself that it was time to quit the grind of the WTA Tour and commence a new chapter in her life. Then she reasoned that a battle with the flu was responsible for her poor play. "I got more and more sluggish," she says. "But I figured maybe I could play myself out of it."

After suffering a foot injury at the German Open in May, she returned to her home in Boca Raton, Fla., to convalesce before the French Open. Her first day back home, her nose bled incessantly. After brushing her teeth, her toothbrush was covered with blood. She suddenly had bruises all over her body, though she couldn't recall taking any spills. Her father, Albin, a physician, suggested she see a doctor. On a Tuesday she relented; by Thursday, she was hooked up to an oxygen tank, diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. "Looking back, it made sense," she says. "My red-blood-cell count was low and that's how you get oxygen to the brain. So naturally, I was having trouble concentrating, feeling weak on the court and having shortness of breath. But when you're young and you're an athlete and not feeling well, you don't think, Oh, it might be cancer."

Overnight, her world did a headstand. One week, she was a pro tennis player, worried about her draw and defending rankings points; a week later, she was receiving chemotherapy. For most of the next six months, her primary residence was an antiseptic room at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. Every test result became an exercise in existentialism.

The low point? First, Morariu flew to the U.S. Open, courtesy of the USTA, and spent three days in New York during early-round matches. "It was funny. There I was, having lost a lot of weight and with my hair fallen out, and everyone else was tan and muscular," she says. "But I just had a great time seeing everyone." After three exhausting days at the National Tennis Center, she left to start another round of chemo on Sept. 9. Then came the events of Sept. 11. Morariu was in the bone-marrow-transplant unit. "I'm lying there with all these oncology patients, and then I'm watching on TV how these terrible people tried to ruin our country and ruined so many lives," she recalls. "I'm thinking, Is there anything good in this world? I totally lost it."

Like a dysfunctional family, tennis is rife with in-fighting and petty jealousies. But when one of its own faces a crisis, the sport comes together. Morariu has been deluged with support from players on both tours, from administrators and from fans. She singlehandedly caused a spike in sales for the South Florida floral industry. When the family requested that no more flowers be sent to her room, stuffed animals started arriving; by the time Morariu left the hospital, she needed three car trips to transport all of them to her home. Her pals on tour, like Lindsay Davenport, Lisa Raymond, Rennae Stubbs and Kim Po-Messerli, flew to Miami to visit. While Morariu was in the hospital, Davenport wore a Tiffany pendant with a C around her neck when she played. "I learned that having cancer does wonders for your popularity," Morariu says. "Seriously, everyone knows the top players are world-famous. But when you're ranked where I was and not always playing in front of all the fans, you never imagine people all over would be sending get-well wishes. It was totally overwhelming."

As was the solicitude she received from other colleagues on tour, players like Anna Kournikova, Jennifer Capriati and the Williamses, with whom she was always cordial but never particularly friendly. "A lot of players that I was on 'Hey, what's up?' terms with were really supportive," she says. "Especially when you're an athlete, you think you're invincible, so I really think this hit home for a lot of the other girls."

The biggest source of support was her family, particularly her husband, Andrew Turcinovich, who spent every night with his wife in the hospital. Married in December 1999, Morariu and Turcinovich had the awkward dual dynamic of player-coach and wife-husband. With tennis suddenly the furthest topic from either's mind, their relationship took on a new dimension. "Now it's not, 'I love you, but you need to hit your forehand differently.' Now we talk about normal things," she says. "It's easy to say, 'If anything happens to you, I'll act like this,' but you never know how someone's really going to act until you're in the situation. With Andrew, he was -- and is -- just unbelievable. I'm so lucky. We joke that with what we've been through, it's our 10th anniversary coming up."

The best news has come in the form of her recent test results -- all negative, the disease in apparent remission. Her heavy-duty chemo sessions over, she can now take doses orally. What's more, Morariu learned last week that in the case of a relapse, her brother, Mircea, is a perfect match for a bone-marrow transplant. A world-class athlete not long ago, Morariu's stamina and strength are shot. Last week she joined her parents for lunch. After walking 50 yards from the parking to the restaurant, she needed to catch her breath. But, at age 23, she hasn't ruled out a return to tennis. "Right now I'm just enjoying being out of the hospital," she says.

Always considered one of the brighter, sunnier and more well-adjusted players on tour, Morariu hardly needed a brush with death to gain some perspective on the charmed life that attends a pro athlete. Still, if she returns, she's sure that her recent experience will manifest itself on the court. "One of the things I didn't like about tennis was how up and down it was. If you win, you're happy and everything in your life is great; if you lose, you're so down. After what I've been through -- the cancer, the chemo, not being able to go to bathroom without an oxygen mask -- losing a tennis match isn't the end of the world. In fact, it's anything but."

Thank you, God!!!!!! <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="graemlins/hearts.gif" border="0" alt="[Hearts]" /> <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="graemlins/kiss.gif" border="0" alt="[Kiss]" /> <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

[ December 12, 2001: Message edited by: janie ]</p>

Dec 12th, 2001, 07:24 PM
GREAT NEWS! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> !

Dec 12th, 2001, 07:33 PM
Great news. I'm sure that Corina will be back to her old self in no time. I hope she just takes a few years and kicks back <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 12th, 2001, 07:37 PM
This makes me extremely happy. <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />

Dec 12th, 2001, 07:55 PM
great news !!!!!!

can't wait for her to be 100% again <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <br /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />

Dec 12th, 2001, 08:12 PM

Wonderful news!!!!!!! Hope to see ya back soon, Corina!!

tx for the news janie!

[ December 13, 2001: Message edited by: per4ever ]</p>

Dec 12th, 2001, 08:24 PM
That`s great news <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

Dec 12th, 2001, 08:29 PM
Great News <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 12th, 2001, 08:33 PM
Excellent news! I'm so glad she is recovering well!<br />Come on Cori Mori!<br /> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

Dec 12th, 2001, 09:12 PM
That's a wonderful news!!! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />

Double Fault
Dec 12th, 2001, 09:12 PM
Very good news. Corina is a shining example to us all.

Dec 12th, 2001, 09:21 PM
great news <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <br />good luck corina<br />come back<br /> i miss you <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 12th, 2001, 09:23 PM

Dec 12th, 2001, 09:26 PM
Much strength Corina! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

Dec 12th, 2001, 09:27 PM
This is good news! <br />Great to hear <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 12th, 2001, 09:33 PM
I have a tape of the Oz Open 01 doubles final as well as Corina's second round match @ the Sydney International against Kournikova. After reading this article, I rewatched both matches. Corina looked so amazing in each match, especially the Sydney match where she surprising dominated Kournikova. It is hard to believe that Corina was probably ill even then. I'm glad to hear that she is doing well. Even though, it may be a long time before we can see Corina on the tennis court, it will be a great day when we do!

Great well Corina and have a great Xmas!

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Dec 12th, 2001, 11:10 PM
Truly inspiring. Corina, this is my 300rd post, and I dedicate it to you girl! <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 12th, 2001, 11:18 PM
Wonderful news! <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 13th, 2001, 02:17 AM
I miss Corina! She had such a beautiful game with a gorgeous one-handed backhand. Almost as good as Justine's, or WOULD have been as good. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

But I remember she took Arantxa to 3 sets in 1999 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in a match and I was like, wow she has to be good. The next time I watched her was a Wimbledon 1st round match against Lindsay Davenport in 2000. She slipped on the grass just when she was starting to play better tennis and I think she was out for the rest of the year. Sad to see that a year after she was diagnosed with Leukimia. <img src="frown.gif" border="0"> Such bad luck but I know she can get through this. I'm with you Corina!!

Dec 13th, 2001, 11:18 AM
<img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 13th, 2001, 11:43 AM
wonderful <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 13th, 2001, 12:15 PM
That is nice to hear, particularly that she has a donor match as a back-up <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 13th, 2001, 12:32 PM
<img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> Great news! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />

Dec 13th, 2001, 01:52 PM
Poor Corina. Glad she's starting to recover. Get well soon! And if we don't see her back on tour, I hope that she enjoys life after tennis.

Brian Stewart
Dec 13th, 2001, 02:05 PM
It's great to hear! It's also encouraging that she's considering the possibility of a return to the tour. With the time away, and the seriousness of her condition, she'll have a hard time getting back to where she was. But I wish her well. And she should be able to become a big force in doubles.

Dec 13th, 2001, 02:07 PM
Beautiful news - what a wonderful Christmas present for her and her loved ones!

[ December 13, 2001: Message edited by: griffin ]</p>

Dec 13th, 2001, 05:33 PM
What wonderful news! Get well soon, Corina! <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Dec 14th, 2001, 07:09 PM
Janie, thanks for the news.

The best thing is that she has a bone marrow transplant match in her brother in case it ever comes to that (God willing it won't)

The interesting thing is that a player who never reached the top 25 in singles seems to enjoy the popularity of a top 10 star. I guess it speaks to the quality of the person.

Dec 14th, 2001, 07:11 PM
fantastic <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

Dec 14th, 2001, 08:11 PM
finally a good news today! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

Dec 14th, 2001, 10:50 PM
I am glad she is doing better. Hopefully she will return to tennis again someday.

Dec 14th, 2001, 10:58 PM
good news!!!

she deserves some good luck new.<br />I hope she she will soon be back 100%!

ETA's Martina Nav
Dec 14th, 2001, 11:52 PM
I hope Corina fully recovers and lives a long healthy life.

Dec 18th, 2001, 02:10 PM
thank god!

thanks janie for the wonderful news!


we are still praying for you corina!

Dec 18th, 2001, 07:56 PM
Really impressive! Fantastic news!<br /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" />