RB Leipzig’s Willi Orban risks playing against Union Berlin on Saturday. The reason: a heroic act.
The 30-year-old will become a stem cell donor for the German bone marrow donor database on Wednesday. Orban registered there in 2017 as part of his club’s campaign in the DKMS database – now a suitable recipient of the donation has been found.
In preparation for the operation, the Hungarian international has been receiving injections since Saturday, which is why he has been unable to take part in training for the whole week.
“Of course, I was initially surprised when I got the information that I was eligible as a donor. But I never had any doubts, I wanted to tackle the donation directly,” Orban told the Picture-Zeitung and emphasized: “This is the possibility of saving a human life with very little effort, there are no two opinions for me. I very much hope that my donation can help to completely heal the recipient.”
During the procedure, which lasts several hours, stem cells are drained through the bloodstream. Although Orban can return home the same evening, it is recommended not to exercise for up to ten days. The central defender would therefore not be an option for the game against second-placed Union Berlin on Saturday (6.30 p.m.).
It remains to be seen how Orban will react to the stem cell donation. “Of course it’s possible that I’ll miss the game against Union – despite all my sporting ambitions, that’s secondary in this case. And anyone who knows me knows that I’ll do everything I can to get back to the team quickly,” he said.
Orban also appealed “that many more people register. It’s really very simple, I feel very well looked after. My example shows that registration makes perfect sense.”