Tim Lobinger: “I always wanted to become a young grandpa”

Tim Lobinger has been battling cancer for six years. Now the former pole vaulter draws new strength from the family: Shortly before Christmas he became a grandfather for the first time.

A wonder! Again and again. And this miracle was born at 50cm tall, has big blue eyes and has been developing beautifully for the past four weeks. Little Fia, derived from Italian, which means something like “the flame” or “the fiery one”, not only makes her parents Fee (28) and Jonas overjoyed. “The name already fits perfectly,” laughs the young mother. “With Fia, a little firework came into our lives.” New grandfather and former world-class pole vaulter Tim Lobinger (50) is also over the moon. “The little one is incredible! I’ve always wanted to become a young grandpa. I’m so proud of Fee and Jonas. They do everything with such great coolness that I can sit back and relax as a young grandpa,” he enthuses.

Tim Lobinger has not yet held his granddaughter in his arms: “I’m still too weak for long car journeys at the moment”

Fee did not complain once after the birth. Giving birth is anything but easy, he philosophizes, only to joke: “I had the feeling that she could do sit-ups again on day one.” Just like papa, you might think. Brave and endowed with an indomitable will. “Don’t forget to be stubborn!” says Tim Lobinger with a laugh. The family happiness seems almost perfect, even if the grandpa has not yet been able to hold his grandchild in his arms. “Of course I want to cuddle the little mouse, smell it, push it in the pram, this desire is huge. But I’m still too weak for long car journeys at the moment,” admits the current athletic coach, who has been fighting cancer almost continuously for six years. In the meantime, Tim Lobinger’s leukemia seemed to be under control thanks to a stem cell donation.

However, for several years now, Tim has had to fight again with a more malignant form of multiple myeloma. In 2022 he even received a special cell therapy from the USA. At the moment, Lobinger has to present himself regularly for therapy at the University Hospital in Würzburg. There, intensive and above all interdisciplinary research is carried out on new oncological therapy approaches. Supported by the “Research Helps” foundation, for which Tim Lobinger has taken over the patronage. In terms of health, it’s a very difficult time, he says himself. He still looks marked: he’s very slim and he’s still not fit. “Of course it would have been nice to hold Fee’s hand more often during pregnancy, but it just wasn’t possible. Everyone knows the situation. It’s always about looking ahead and drawing energy from beautiful things,” he said Coach.

Tim Lobinger on his children: “You are my rocket engine”

Tim’s struggle for survival has long since become something of the norm for the family. “We don’t ask ourselves every day why it hits us,” says Fee. “When we’re together, we prefer to think about what else we want to experience. When Dad was feeling better, we were in Mallorca. Sitting together on the beach again, playing in the sand, that would be great. These things give us strength .” She also reminds her father that they visited him again in Munich “just before they burst” and makes him laugh. “Yes, it was important to see you as round as a ball. You are my rocket engine,” he then says. “I like to talk about my inner powerhouse and my kids put some fuel elements in there last year. That helps me to stay positive despite everything.”

Tim Lobinger: “I’m super hard-working and train twice a day”

First Fee’s wedding in the summer, then Tim Lobinger’s youngest son Okkert (7) started school – and his older son Lex Tyger (23) scored his first goal as a professional footballer in the 2nd Bundesliga for 1. FC Kaiserslautern. A huge success story. “It was a colourful, dreamy, crazy, exciting year with great challenges!” sums up Tim Lobinger. Actually, he wouldn’t have objected to a bit of rest in 2023 to pause and review everything again. Above all, however, the exceptional athlete wants to gather new strength so that he can visit his grandchild in person as soon as possible. “I’m super diligent and train twice a day. Of course not in the weight room, I mainly do exercises with my own weight.” The Lobinger family is also a fan of digitization. Not a day goes by when grandpa doesn’t get new photos and videos of his grandson, facetime them together or send voice memos.

“Today it’s quite normal for families to live hundreds of kilometers apart and yet be somehow connected. The picture creates the connection to the world of emotions. So we feel very close on the screen,” he says. This interview will also take place digitally. It’s great fun to see how Fee Lobinger carries her newborn through the apartment like a lazy, sleeping lion on her forearm. She herself looks well rested and fit – and not at all like a sleepless night. “It’s up to Jonas,” she enthuses. “I’m so lucky with him because he supports me in everything. When I’m breastfeeding at night, he bravely stays up with me and wraps Fia every time.”

Tim Lobinger: “I like to give special gifts that are individual and give pleasure for a long time”

“That’s why, as a grandfather, I don’t even have to fly a helicopter,” laughs Tim Lobinger. “I have the utmost confidence in both of them.” Instead of worrying, he prefers to tinker with cute gifts for his daughter and granddaughter. “I like to give special gifts that are individual and give pleasure for a long time,” explains Tim. This is also a tradition in the Lobinger family, who would rather keep than throw away. “I used to lie in this cradle when I was a baby,” says Fee proudly, pointing to a pretty woven basket with a curtain. And the old onesies from her and Lex Tyger are almost cult again today. “My dad gave my mom the necklace around my neck when I was born.” And she always wears her mother’s wedding ring next to her own. It’s true, you can actually feel the warmth and love of this special family through the screen. Better luck is not possible.

By Nike Emich and Stephanie Göttmann-Fuchs

No chance of healing: "My cancer is too aggressive"

No chance of healing: “My cancer is too aggressive”
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