Sebastien Bellin, a Brazilian-born former member of the Belgian national basketball squad (the Belgian Lions) was 37 when disaster struck: he was queuing at a desk in Brussels Airport where one of the bombs went off. Bellin sustained heavy injuries on his left leg and hip, and his life changed for good.
"It changed, but for the best, because it taught me a lot of things", says Bellin. "It taught me that even in the worst imaginable things in life, there is still something positive."
"They told I would lose my leg. Now I just want to cross the finish line"
Antwerp is staging several running events today: a marathon, the 10 Miles and shorter distances. Among the 40,000 runners is a man with a particular mission: Sebastien Bellin. He wants to prove doctors wrong.
The VRT had the occasion to speak with him in the Tervuren park, just hours before the 10 Miles. Though his leg still hurts every morning when he gets up, 25 months and 11 operations after the terror attacks, he is ready for the event.
"I just want to cross the finish line. Two years and one month ago, the doctors told me I would never walk again or lose my leg. I want to prove that that's not the case."
A man with a mission: "By helping others, you help yourself"
Bellin also wants to do something for others. Two times a months, he trains inmates in Charleroi prison. They could be people who have been convicted for terrorism. "I play basketball with them. I coach them, just like I coached myself back into life."
"I try to help people who are less fortunate or who have made big mistakes. By helping others, you help yourself."