Atlético Madrid midfielder Dani Pacheco is aware of the importance and significance of donating a kidney

Atlético Madrid midfielder’s comeback from brain cancer and mother’s paralysis Atlético Madrid midfielder’s comeback from brain cancer and mother’s paralysis The Spain player, who played at the World Cup in 2006, has had various…

Atlético Madrid midfielder Dani Pacheco is aware of the importance and significance of donating a kidney

Atlético Madrid midfielder’s comeback from brain cancer and mother’s paralysis

Atlético Madrid midfielder’s comeback from brain cancer and mother’s paralysis

The Spain player, who played at the World Cup in 2006, has had various health problems in recent years

By Brian J. Farrell

Updated: December 15, 2006 11:56 AM ET

Dani Pacheco was playing football when his mother fell into a coma, but the Atlético Madrid midfielder never imagined that he would be confronted again with the possibility of a similar tragedy threatening his own life.

“I thought my mother’s time would come,” Pacheco told MLSsoccer.com by telephone from his home in Madrid.

Pacheco’s mother, Maria Pacheco, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 58 and had her right leg amputated. The soccer enthusiast said he is grateful for the support he receives from soccer fans in Spain.

Atlético Madrid midfielder Dani Pacheco, whose mother died following a major organ transplant this summer, said he is aware of the importance and significance of donating a kidney.

“You can always tell when the fans have a good effect on your life,” Pacheco said, explaining one of his reasons for accepting the challenge to have a kidney donated.

“It is a feeling of gratitude. Your goal is to have a positive moment and a positive effect on other people’s lives.”

The Atlético player, who played at the World Cup in 2006, began his soccer career in his teens with Atlético Benidorm, but never was able to win a game for the club.

After several seasons, he joined Real Betis, the club that has been instrumental to his career, and Pacheco has returned to his hometown team, where he has played a major role in the club’s resurgence.

“You need to enjoy the good moments,” he said. “The negative moments are just something you have to learn to live with.”

When Pacheco played in Spain, he never feared for his own life.

“I am not afraid of dying and I would not fear for my life, nor would I fear for my mother’s,” he said.

“If anything, I know that she will be with us in this life, like at my birthday party when she

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