Cristiano Ronaldo Has Been Quietly Helping Kids in Need, and a Few Facts We Didn’t Know About Him
Cristiano Ronaldo may be a billionaire and a soccer pro, but his life wasn’t always like this. He comes from a poor family and used to beg for food at the nearest McDonald’s. Because of this, he is very familiar with what it’s like to be in constant need and now tries his best to make this world a better place to live in, especially for children.
He still doesn’t have any tattoos because he frequently donates blood.
Unlike a large number of his peers, Ronaldo doesn’t have any tattoos on his body. In 2012, he revealed the main reason he avoids putting ink under his skin: “I don’t have tattoos because I donate blood very often.”
It all started with his former teammate, Carlos Martins. He told Ronaldo that his son needed regular blood and bone marrow transfusions, and Ronaldo was quick to volunteer. Since then, he has become a frequent donor and encourages many others to donate too.
People with tattoos are actually allowed to give blood too. But new tattoos can affect donations and cause a precautionary waiting period of anywhere between 6 and 12 months. Ronaldo realized that his help may be needed today, and every minute matters, so he decided not to take any risks in waiting so long.
In 2015, he said, “We can all make a difference by donating blood. Each donation can benefit up to 3 people in emergency situations and long-term medical treatments. That’s why I am enthusiastic to bring awareness to the importance of blood donation and to encourage people around the world to become lifelong blood donors and help save lives.”
When it comes to bone marrow donations, many people think it is something that is challenging to do. But Ronaldo himself says it’s nothing more than drawing blood and it doesn’t hurt. “I did it many years ago,” he said, “and if I had to do it again, I would because this is a very serious disease for many children, and we need to help them.”
He helped a 7-year-old tsunami survivor to rebuild his family’s house and paid for the boy’s education.
Little Martunis was just 7 when huge waves formed due to a massive underwater earthquake on December 26, 2004, hitting the beaches of Banda Aceh in Indonesia. Martunis was separated from his family but managed to survive the tsunami.
He stayed alive by crawling on sinking objects, one after another. Then he clung to a big tree floating in the water, bringing him to the seafront. He survived for 3 weeks on his own before reuniting with his only surviving relative, his father.
Since Martunis was playing soccer right before the waves took him away, he was found wearing the Portugal shirt with Ronaldo’s name on it. The picture of the little survivor went viral. Martunis’s story so deeply inspired Ronaldo that he decided to help the boy.
The soccer star reportedly paid for Martunis’s education, and the entire Portugal team gave money to help rebuild his family’s home. The boy met his hero 3 years later, and at the time, Ronaldo said, “I believe that many adults would not even be able to deal with what he has gone through.”
He sold his European Golden Boot to raise funds and build several schools in Gaza.
In 2011, Ronaldo was awarded the European Golden Boot. And instead of keeping the award as another memorable trophy, he sold it at an auction and raised a stunning $1.2 million. All of the funds were put toward building several schools in Gaza.
He often helps his young fans.
In 2009, he heard about Nuhuzet Guillen’s story, a 9-year-old boy with terminal cancer. Ronaldo sent a driver to bring the boy’s whole family to the hotel where he and his team were staying at the time.
He joked around with the boy right after he emerged from the elevator, saying, “Don’t you want to say anything?” And then he invited the boy to watch the match in his private box. He even dedicated his goal to Guillen and gave him his shirt after the match.
Ronaldo then spoke to the boy’s father. Unfortunately, there was not much that could be done in his condition. However, there was an experimental treatment in the US that Ronaldo decided to pay for.
He also offered to pay for all the boy’s medications and treatments at a private medical center and did so for more than a year. But Guillen’s condition worsened anyway, and he sadly passed away in March 2013.
In 2014, he helped another young fan. His mother asked Ronaldo to donate a shirt to her 10-month-old, Erik Ortiz Cruz, who had cortical dysplasia. Ronaldo paid for the initial brain surgery and offered to cover the cost of any follow-up treatments. Although, this time, no further treatment was needed, and everything went just fine.
All in all, Ronaldo loves to interact with and help his supporters, especially children. As he once said, “Children are and will always be the best thing the world has to offer, and we must protect them at all costs. Supporters are and will always be the best in [soccer], and we must respect everything they face and endure.”
Going back to the times when Ronaldo was a child himself, he still hasn’t forgotten 3 women who gave him food back then. And he hasn’t given up searching for them, hoping to pay them back for all their kindness.