August 8, 2022

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Bjorn Einar Rommern on Cancer: A Triumph of Playing With Children

Bjorn Einar Rommern on Cancer: A Triumph of Playing With Children

Bjorn Einar Romoren

When Bjørn Einar Romøren was ill with cancer, Sarcomas became an important support for him and his wife. – In many ways, it is worse to be close to a sick person, as the former great jumper thinks.

You just have to decide that you’re going to get over this, and that this will go well until proven otherwise. It’s stupid to walk around and get angry, says Bjørn Einar Romøren (40).

He’s had a tough time since he was diagnosed with sarcoma. Now he wants to return the favor.

In recent years, the Here and Now has organized a Christmas campaign where the money is distributed to a charitable organization chosen by a competent person. Romorin chose the association closest to his heart, sarcoma.

As an athlete, my name has been printed many times. Not every time it feels so beneficial for food, but lining up in a place like this gives a different meaning. It feels very good. When what you’re involved in gives results, that’s great. Then you sleep a little better at night. It is very good to be able to contribute.

Grateful: - I was surprised and delighted when I called.  We are a small organization, and all contributions, big and small, are important to us, says Kathryn Moen Nielsen, Sacromer Association Leader.  Here, Bjørn Einar Romøren presents her check og Nås to her and CEO Pål Nedrelid.
Grateful: – I was surprised and delighted when I called. We are a small organization, and all contributions, big and small, are important to us, says Kathryn Moen Nielsen, Sacromer Association Leader. Here, Bjørn Einar Romøren presents her check og Nås to her and CEO Pål Nedrelid.
Photo: Morten Bendixen.

Diagnosis just before the birth of the daughter

Why he chose sarcoma, we have to go back a few years to explain it. In 2005, Bjørn Einar set a world record in figure skating with a height of 239 meters at Planica in Slovenia. Throughout his jumping career, he won, among other things, a gold medal at the World Cup and an Olympic bronze with the Norwegian flag on his chest. In 2014, he quit – and then lived the “real” life with his wife, Martin Rimsoy Romorn (34).

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The couple married in 2011 and settled at Hosle in Bærum. In 2017, Martin gave birth to her son, Fred, and towards the end of 2018, Martine got pregnant again.

Three months before daughter Fiona announced her arrival, Björn Einar took an MRI. He had back pain and was sure to come back down.

When the doctor called at 21 p.m. Saturday, he wasn’t talking about frequent falls. An MRI revealed a tumor, and further investigation showed that Björn Einar had Ewing sarcoma of bone tissue.

Getting a cancer diagnosis is a shock no matter where you are in life. I had never heard of sarcoma when I was diagnosed. Everything went very quickly, five days after the diagnosis I received my first chemotherapy.

Sarcoma diagnosis:

Sarcomas include various tumors of the skeleton, fat, muscle, and connective tissue. There are osteosarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas, with many subgroups.

Sarcomas are rare, amounting to approx. 1 percent of all diagnosed cancers.

Sarcoma affects all ages, but is somewhat more common in children and adolescents. Treatment for sarcoma varies from surgery only to different combinations of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

For sarcoma support:

Sarcoma is a Norwegian patient and peer organization for all people with sarcoma.

The organization wants to be informative about a rare diagnosis, to contribute to awareness and knowledge about sarcoma, and to be a forum and forum for people with sarcoma. Sarcoma is one of several voluntary and independent associations of the Norwegian Cancer Society.

Account Number: 1503 68 21113. Vipps: 24577. sarkomer.no/gi-en-gave

Cancer free for 2 years

Here and Now he meets smiling Bjorn Einar at the headquarters of the Cancer Society in Oslo. Within two months he was cancer-free for two years.

He greets the old ski champ and starts a conversation with the many who pass us by in the big building. He obviously spent a lot of time here.

Almost immediately after Björn Einar was back on his feet, he became involved with Sarkomer’s Patients and Peer Association, an affiliate of the Cancer Society.

He has appeared in campaigns, interviews, podcasts, and in several other contexts in support of the organization’s work.

– Radiumhospitalet uses information from Sarkomer to patients, where I first heard about them. Since my diagnosis is so rare, the information we received was very important to us.

– We got help from Sarcomer with everything, really. We learned what to expect in the course of cancer. We received help sending requests. There was great support when everything else boiled over.

It’s so hard to be close

For Martin as a relative, sarcoma became especially valuable. Among other things, getting support and information from people other than those in the doctor’s coat was important to her.

In many ways, it is to be more close to the patient. I know how I feel, I get all the information. As a relative, you cannot do anything about the situation. There’s not much patients can do either, but you can at least influence your mood and decide whether or not you get out of bed that day, explains Björn Einar.

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Sarcomer Leader, Katherine Moen Nielsen and Chairman Pal Nederlid receive the gift check. They are forever grateful for the commitment shown by Björn Einar. The 40-year-old hopes to make a difference to those diagnosed after him.

Sarcoma is a small association of patients, it is very good to be able to provide support. I hope the interest leads to more people making contributions that we hope will help give affected patients and families a slightly better journey through the course of the disease.

Bjørn Einar looks healthy today. His chalky white face was restored when he received chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Now the face is full of life.

Lying in bed around the clock

During the most difficult period, he felt so tired that he was lying in bed 22 hours a day. But all along he was sure of one thing, and that was that he would get through it. The wife was left with no home, two children, and no husband.

The former best athlete has come a long way since batteries were a frog for curing tough cancer. After Christmas, he appeared in “Misternes mester” on NRK. The registration took place this summer, but for Björn Einar it is no longer about winning competitions. It is a victory that is enough to have the energy to participate in the children’s lives.

My form today is straightforward. I can’t say I’m as good as before. But as long as I have enough form to follow my racket, and also do what I want, I’m happy. You don’t have to win a “Norseman” (a very difficult note for a triathlon editor). As long as I can go hiking in the mountains with the family, that’s enough. This way, I am very happy with the shape.

Don’t be afraid of things

Romorin is not afraid of relapse.

– no I’m not. The opportunity certainly exists, but I don’t think about it. I’m lucky to be tight so I’m not afraid. Many people think that it can be difficult to go to the hospital afterward. I don’t feel it. I’m so glad it’s the case for me, but I respect the fact that many find it very difficult.

– And that’s exactly why it’s so important with patient associations! If you can’t turn your mind to all the positive things in life instead of what can be a little difficult. Therefore, it is very good to give to some of those who work day and night so that those affected and relatives can reach more people.

It wasn’t long since Björn Einar resigned as marketing director for his jump in the Norwegian Ski Association. As of December, assigned to his wife’s company, he is looking forward to embarking on new assignments.

Sometimes he thinks about how lucky he is to be cancer-free and able to celebrate Christmas with his wife and two kids.

– Of course I go and feel grateful during Christmas Eve. It may sound cliched, but there are so many more working days than holidays. I am most grateful to be able to join a trek in the woods, or to be able to accompany the kids to their swimming training. It’s the most important everyday things.

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