Aussie veteran Robert Allenby has urged golf fans around the world to flood Jarrod Lyle’s Facebook and Instagram with positive messages as the popular Victorian prepares for the toughest battle of his life.
Last week Lyle posted a painfully raw update of the battle he has faced fighting cancer since his teenage years, admitting that in the next few weeks “things are about to get really serious for me and my health” as he undergoes a bone marrow transplant.
In guest commentary stints with Channel Seven during the Emirates Australian Open Lyle conceded that he was struggling with the latest diagnosis, which is why Allenby has implored fans to constantly send messages of support to lift his spirits.
Allenby first met Lyle when he was an up-and-coming Victorian golfer struck down by leukaemia in his teenage years and the pair have shared a unique bond ever since as Lyle ultimately fought his way to the very top tier of professional golf.
Now a husband and father to two young girls, Lyle’s motivation to fight hard through this next phase of treatment is clear but given the seriousness of the diagnosis, Allenby told Australian Golf Digest that he can’t fight it alone.
“I know at the moment he’s not as positive as he’s been, as he was for the last two times. That scares me a little bit but that’s why I keep telling him that a 25 per cent chance is better than no chance,” said Allenby, whose charity, Challenge, has supported more than 25,000 families with children battling cancer for more than 30 years.
“The really, really bad days are going to be coming soon. This week and next week as well. Next week is going to be really tough for him.
“It would be nice if the whole world got on his Twitter page and on his Instagram and Facebook pages and just kept sending positive messages because he can see it and he can see what everyone’s saying about him.
“It encourages him more and more and more. If everyone that knows him and even people who don’t know him can get on there and write something nice and encourage him along it will help.
“Positive mind can beat cancer, there’s no question about it. It’s been proven through a lot of different studies that we’ve done at the Children’s Hospital and through the Challenge Cancer Support Network.”
Allenby remains in constant contact with Lyle and reaffirmed to him during the Australian Open why he now has so much more to fight for.
“I had a good chat with him last week and I said to him that the only way he can look at it is the way you’ve looked at it the first two times,” said Allenby.
“They’ve given you a chance, they’ve given you odds, and having odds is better than having no odds.
“Stay positive, think of your girls and how you want to stay alive and healthy for them and continue to be the amazing father that you are.
“He’s such a trooper. I met him when he was 17 going through the first bout of cancer and he was a strong character back then and he’s still a strong character.”
Two-time winner on the US PGA Tour this year, Marc Leishman, played pennant golf alongside Lyle at Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne and like Allenby hopes that the support of the golf world can get Lyle through, as they did when Leishman’s wife Audrey was in a life-threatening situation a couple of years ago.
“We’re like a big family [out on tour]. I felt that when Audrey got sick with the support I got from everyone on tour,” Leishman said.
“It’s horrible. Obviously for himself but with two young kids and a wife… he’s fought and won before so hopefully he can get through this one and fight and come out on top again.
“He’s always been really positive but I guess he’s just being realistic. It’s hard. It’s a bone marrow transplant I believe that he’s having and he’s going to have to fight pretty hard for this one but there’s no reason why he can’t beat it again.”
Click on these links below to send Jarrod your message of support!
Jarrod’s recent Blog
I’m writing this blog from this years Emirates Australian Open, where I’m soaking up all that Aussie golf has to offer. Officially I’m here to ‘work’ in our merchandise tent, but I’m also going to do some commentary for Channel 7 and AO radio. Apparently I’ve got a good face for radio…
Things are about to get really serious for me and my health over the next couple of months, so this week is all about a bit of normality. Next week I’m going to be back in hospital to prepare for a bone marrow transplant, and best case scenario is that I’m in hospital for about 5 weeks. I have been building up to this for quite a few months, and now that the procedure is just around the corner I am shitting myself. I’m not even going to apologise for that language – it’s already toned down from what I’m really feeling. My decision to come to the tournament this week was a great one because I’m able to take my mind off what is about to happen and have a few laughs with some close friends. I’m also trying to spend the time with my eldest daughter, because I’ll miss seeing her for many days over the coming weeks. She knows that I’m sick, but she hasn’t yet seen me really really sick, but I think that might happen very soon.
I had a chance to catch up with my doctor last week to run through the treatment plan, and that is why I’m so scared. He was explaining to me about the chemo and how harsh it is compared to all the treatments I have had up until now. It’s going to be the strongest one I have ever had, and I am going to be a very sick boy after it’s all done. Following the chemo will be the transplant, with the stem cells coming from my brother Leighton. The transplant is essentially just a simple blood transfusion procedure that doesn’t hurt either Leighton or myself, and once it’s done I get 2 days’ rest. It sounds good in theory, but my body will be fighting the new, foreign cells and I will probably face several infections and some serious mouth ulcers called mucositis. Then after my 2 days rest I have another 3 days of chemo. If everything goes to plan and I am discharged from hospital after 5 weeks, my doctor then wants me to spend another 2 months living within 10km of the hospital so I can easily get to ED if I get a temperature. I’ll also have appointments in the day ward every second day for several weeks, to keep an eye on my progress. I need to have a carer with me 24/7 while I’m in Melbourne, so Bri is going to try to clone herself so she can be in two places at once!
So even though I look and feel great at the moment, I will be sick for quite a while and won’t feel like doing much at all. I think it helps me and Bri to know what is expected so we can prepare ourselves, but we are not kidding ourselves about what could happen. My doctor is still reasonably confident that this treatment will work, and we’ll finally be able to achieve a cure. But I also know it’s going to be lot of hard work from all involved to get me through it. As it’s my 3rd time having this, things get much trickier the further we go along, and at best I’ve got a 1 in 4 chance of coming out the other side successfully. So there are bound to be a few more bumps in my recovery yet.
It’s been a great couple of days up here in Sydney so far, catching up with my mates and having a chat to them. To stand on the other side of the ropes and watch the players is a really different feeling. Sometimes I really want to get out there and have a hit, but I know I wouldn’t be able to get around the course. Instead I’ll be going in and out of the commentary box, throwing in some (expert) commentary! Plus, my darling wife and I will be working hard in our tent getting our products out to people, which is something we both really enjoy doing.
The support we have been receiving from across Australia and the world continues to amaze me. There has been people stopping me in the street to wish me luck going forward, and this is just unbelievable. To know there is so many people behind me pushing me and wishing me on makes it a lot easier to wake up and keep fighting, plus having my little family there each day makes the bad days seem not too bad.
If you’re up in Sydney for the Open and feel like dropping by, please come and say hi. I’m probably going to be doing far more chatting than selling this week, but hopefully Bri will forgive me!