Sunday, May 29

Trick around: Instead of an interview, they received the Honorary Award

Together with Kristian Jørgensen, he was awarded the Norwegian Cancer Society’s honorary prize this week.

Jørgensen and Romøren met at Radiumhospitalet in 2019, both with serious cancer. For several months they lay in the same room and supported each other through tough cancer treatments. Together they have stood up and told about life with cancer. They are now honored for this.

Both loved sports and lived an active life.

Bjørn Einar Romøren and Kristian Jørgensen

Left: Bjørn Einar Romøren during the trial round in the team competition in the World Ski Flying Championships in 2012. Right: Kristian Jørgensen trained a lot before he became ill.

Photo: V: Terje Bendiksby / NTB, H: Private

Suddenly they were both bedridden and had their lives turned upside down. Romøren with a tumor in the hip. Jørgensen with a tumor in the abdominal wall.

– Openness has broken taboos

They call themselves «Cancer buddies» and receives the Honorary Award 2021 for his efforts for openness among men who have cancer.

– The fact that these two guys have chosen to be open, talk about what it is like to get the diagnosis, during cancer treatment and afterwards, it has created openness and broken taboos. This is what Secretary General of the Norwegian Cancer Society, Ingrid Stenstadvold Ross, says.

Secretary General of the Norwegian Cancer Society, Ingrid Stenstadvold Ross, presents the Norwegian Cancer Society's Honorary Award 2021 to Kristian Jørgensen and Bjørn Einar Romøren.

Secretary General of the Norwegian Cancer Society awards the Norwegian Cancer Society’s Honorary Prize to Kristian Jørgensen and Bjørn Einar Romøren.

Photo: Jorunn Valle Nilsen / The Norwegian Cancer Society

She says that many men have contacted the cancer association and said that it has been crucial for them that these two have been open about what they have been through.

The master of the masters

Many were impressed when the former ski jumper lined up in the entertainment program Masters of the Masters. It happened minner than a year and a half after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Bjørn Einar folds his hands and shapes his eyebrows into a funny and concentrated look.  Behind him are the other participants mingling.

Bjørn Einar Romøren in The Champions of the Champions 2022.

Photo: Eskil Olaf Vestre / NRK

In an interview with NRK, he said a short time ago that he has wanted to motivate others:

– I said yes to joining because I think it would have been a little fun to show others that you have to dare to try even if you can not do everything. I want to give motivation to those who are on the doorstep after a long illness without completely recovering.

Also read:

Bjørn Einar Romøren: – I am the world’s best at working uphill


Undertøysmodeller

For the cancer cause, they have two «Cancer buddies» also lined up as lingerie models. It was part of the campaign «Men – talk about it». The goal was to encourage men to talk about challenges with cancer.

They agreed to pose as lingerie models for Pierre Robert. That was for a good cause. The proceeds went to the Cancer Society.

Bjørn Einar Romøren and Kristian Jørgensen - in a campaign in collaboration between the Norwegian Cancer Society and Pierre Robert.

It was tougher than they had imagined.

Bjørn Einar Romøren and Kristian Jørgensen - in a campaign in collaboration between the Norwegian Cancer Society and Pierre Robert.

– Should we do something for the Cancer Society, we had to put our whole head on the block.

Bjørn Einar Romøren
Bjørn Einar Romøren who has been ill with cancer, in a campaign in collaboration between the Norwegian Cancer Society and Pierre Robert.

– It has been extremely tough for me to mentally accept that this is how I have become, says Jørgensen.

For him, however, there are other things that have been more important.

For me, the driving force has been to come back and continue living. It overshadows everything else.

Neither of the two friends had imagined that they would talk publicly about sex, but decided to stand in it together.

– Men are good at talking about the knee injury they received at a football match or a sore shoulder. It is very rare to hear of someone telling them that they have to use blue pills or are struggling to get it up, says Romøren.

Now they both hope that the campaign has led to someone raising their eyes and daring to talk about what is difficult.

– None of us can handle it as much as before and it is annoying, but you do not get better from being annoyed about it. It will be much easier to deal with by saying that this is how it has turned out, this is the reality now, says Romøren.

The comrade agrees.

– That you should wish it was different, you have to put it away. That is point number one. You have to try to look for solutions and adapt to the reality you live in, says Jørgensen.

Also read:

Bjørn Einar Romøren encourages men to talk about sex and cohabitation


– We have been lucky

Bjørn Einar Romøren and Kristian Jørgensen call themselves "cancer buddies"
Photo: Marit Sirum-Eikre / NRK

– I do not think there is anyone who goes through a cancer treatment without getting a permanent but, physically or mentally, on one level or another, says Jørgensen.

In 2020, more than 35,000 people in Norway got cancer – almost 20,000 of them were men. Three out of four who get cancer in Norway today survive. That is twice as many as 50 years ago.

The two friends agree that they were lucky to end up in the same room and have had one to share everything with.

– We have been lucky, they both say.

Both have talked much more about cancer than they would have done if they were alone.

For me, it has been important to talk about it, about all the things that have happened both during and after treatment. Talk about life afterwards, about all the close things. It has given me strength to come back, says Jørgensen.

– But we do not talk about cancer all the time, Romøren replies.

From top trained to terminally ill

The former ski jumper was sure it could not hit him. Between 2003 and 2011, he won no less than two World Cup golds, two World Cup silvers, three World Cup bronzes and one Olympic bronze.

Bjørn Einar Romøren after winning the World Cup opening in Kuusamo in Finland in 2009.

Bjørn Einar Romøren after he won the World Cup opening in Kuusamo in Finland in 2009.

Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB

When the doctor called in 2019, it came as a big shock. The back pain turned out to be a tumor in the hip. And while he was suffering from cancer, he became a father for the second time.

Bjørn Einar Romøren with his newborn son in hospital

You could not have come at a better time, Romøren writes to his daughter on Instagram.

Photo: Private

Bjørn Einar Romøren and the whole family at the hospital.

The whole family gathered at the hospital.

Photo: Private

Bjørn Einar Romøren in hospital

Bjørn Einar Romøren in hospital.

Photo: Private

Also for the comrade, the disease came completely unexpectedly.

– I was very keen to stay in shape and was very active through training in various forms. It was very, very important to me and a big part of my life.

Kristian Jørgensen

Kristian Jørgensen trained a lot, often several times a day, before he became ill.

Photo: Private

Kristian Jørgensen trained a lot before he became ill.

– Training was a big part of my life. I spent a lot of time on it.

Photo: Private

Kristian Jørgensen before he got cancer

– I was also very active.

Photo: Private

Kristian Jørgensen became ill with cancer in 2019.

Suddenly the cancer struck. It turned out that he had a large tumor in the abdominal wall.

Photo: Private

– Suddenly I became ill. Then there was an abrupt stop.

Price that hangs high

Bjørn Einar Romøren and Kristian Jørgensen receive the Norwegian Cancer Society's Honorary Award 2021

Bjørn Einar Romøren and Kristian Jørgensen were surprised when they were greeted by an award ceremony and applause in the Cancer Society’s premises this week.

Photo: Jorunn Valle Nilsen / The Norwegian Cancer Society

The Norwegian Cancer Society’s honorary prize is awarded to one or more people who have made a special contribution to the field of cancer. The prize was first awarded in 2013.

Now it is Bjørn Einar Romøren and Kristian Jørgensen who receive the award.

– Being able to talk about what you are in means increased quality of life. This means that it becomes easier to live with illness. These two have contributed to more people now talking about how they feel.

This is what the general secretary of the Norwegian Cancer Society says.

– We are ambassadors for very, very many. It is they who have received the award, while we are the ones who have received it, says Jørgensen.

The two friends are in agreement.

– It is easier to get back to life when you are a little open and dare to talk about it, says Jørgensen.

– We always managed to pull it up together, Romøren smiles.

These have received the Norwegian Cancer Society’s honorary award before:

  • 2020: Christine Place
  • 2018: Jan Vincents Johannessen and Rjukan Radiumforening
  • 2017: Steinar Aamdal
  • 2016: Thea Steen
  • 2015: Alf Gullik Hansen
  • 2014: Arild Halvorsen
  • 2013: Anniken Golf Rokseth and Erlend Strand Rokseth

Reference-www.nrk.no

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