Former Sydney FC captain and SBS football analyst, Mark Rudan, shares the heart-breaking story of his mother's brain cancer diagnosis and his mission to create an A-League cancer round.
Dealing with mum’s brain cancer diagnosis
My mum was first diagnosed with brain cancer in late August. The neurosurgeon told us that mum had an extremely rare type of tumour. They’re still not sure what type she has, although they say it favours ependymoma.
That type of tumour happens in young children but it’s extremely rare in adults. That was so hard to take, because throughout that time we were becoming extremely worried as the doctors couldn’t give us a 100% diagnosis about what type of tumour it was.
We are renowned in Australia for having the best doctors in the world, but our doctor had to send samples to a machine in Boston to identify the tumour as they have better technology than we’ve got here.
We were struggling to deal with not having an answer because we didn’t know what type of tumour it was. It was a real long waiting game and it became frustrating for all of us. So, it was a situation where we just wanted answers.
The neurosurgeon operated in early October and was then able to take out about 25% of the tumour. Mum was in intensive care and the general ward for about six weeks in total, then her aggressive radiation therapy began. She has been healing from the operation ever since.
Joining the Cure Brain Cancer Association
During this time, I started speaking to the Cure Brain Cancer Association and they asked me if I was interested in helping their cause. I jumped at the chance because they've been fantastic.
Honoured to be an ambassador for a cause so close to my heart https://t.co/0h2NX7xNnp— Mark Rudan (@MarkRudan) February 9, 2018
Brain cancer is such a bad disease. It kills more young kids and adults under 40 than any other disease and it's no-where-near as well funded, so I just wanted to send the message out there and talk about it and raise awareness and much needed funding.
If we are able to have one of those machines that are overseas in our own country it would be a much easier process and people wouldn’t have to go through what mum went through.
I don’t normally tweet such personal things, but I guess the situation that mum was going through was about seeing if anyone out there was going through similar things and to reach out and help and that certainly was the case.
My beautiful brave mum. An inspiration. Fighting a rare form of brain cancer with so much positivity. Love you so much ❤️ pic.twitter.com/JArdfNNdZP— Mark Rudan (@MarkRudan) October 31, 2017
I was really astounded by how warm and generous the football community and the wider public were with the support they gave to me and my family for what mum was been going through.
It was astounding and it really touched us all.