A year ago Juan Carlos Unzué, exporter for Barcelona, Osasuna, Sevilla, Tenerife and Oviedo, and coach of Numancia, Racing, Celta and Girona, announced that he suffered from ALS, a neurodegenerative disease for which there is still no cure and for which he was diagnosed in July 2019. Since then he has embarked on a crusade to publicize it and raise funds for his research. This past Tuesday he accepted an invitation from the group of younger members of the Equestrian Circle, formally called the New Initiatives Committee (CNI), within the framework of a solidarity day focused on giving visibility to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. For this reason, the money raised in the talk has been allocated entirely to the research of this disease through the Upside Down Challenge project, led by Daniel Rossinés.
“Being a footballer has made me much more resilient and has given me the opportunity to accept things, my illness, in a natural way. That is the key word: naturalness, ”explained Unzué, who during the talk also wanted to express the lack of institutional support suffered not only by women more than 4,000 people suffering from this disease in Spain, but also their families. “There is not much aid for current patients, it is a very expensive disease to maintain and there is very little public money for ALS research,” he pointed out, referring to the high cost derived from the physical dependence suffered by patients, even more so when the disease reaches its most advanced stages. To do this, Unzué stressed the need to continue informing and raising awareness about ALS and its effectsBut it did so by appealing to an urgent change in the political model. “The problem is that we have lived very well in this country for the last 40 years. Politicians have been relatively comfortable because we have not complained, but I have the feeling that people are starting to get tired. It is not only because of the ignorance of ALS, it is because of everything. They are encouraging us to act in other ways, “he denounced. On a personal level, Unzué also wanted to highlight the unconditional support of his family, even more so since he was diagnosed with the disease. «The family will never let you down, and when there are moments of difficulty the family will be the first to remain by your side unconditionally, “he assures.
The event also had the participation of Daniel Rossinés, founder of the proyecto Upside Down Challenge. This project was born with the firm commitment to give visibility to ALS, sensitize public opinion and raise funds so that there is more research on this degenerative disease. To make this project more visible, Rossinés launched in 2020 the challenge of swim along the Catalan coast, from Porbou to Les Cases d’Alcanar. 400 kilometers in 20 days in a row. The 2021 edition has transferred the challenge to Menorca. There, Rossinés has managed to circle the 140 kilometers of the Balearic island in a total of 8 days.