Barry Stewart thought his youngest son was faking it when he came home from school one day complaining of being crook.
Baz had every right to believe young Brett was up to something as his 13-year-old went from his death bed to doing cartwheels by the time he returned to their Wollongong home.
A trip to the local GP soon put the Stewart family straight - and changed Brett's life for good.
Tests revealed Brett was a diabetic and a worrying two-week stint in hospital followed in which there were many more questions than answers.
"Big Baz didn't want a bar of it at first," Brett laughed.
"He said: 'He's alright, put him back to school'."
But the Stewarts soon learned it was no joke.
"The first 12-18 months was the hardest. It was new and we didn't know much about the disease and how to keep a healthy blood-sugar level," Brett continued.
"My mind was like a big sponge taking in everything I could about the disease and what I needed to do to get healthy.
"Not knowing what I was dealing with was the scariest part. The whole family was affected.
"But it's part of my life now. You learn to live with it."
Brett still injects himself up to 20 times a day and always has a packets of snakes handy in case he needs an instant sugar hit.
I've seen him go through the ritual hundreds of times before big games; as he says, it's just part of his life now.
And for all his success on the football field, I know Brett gets just as big a kick knowing he is helping those suffering diabetes.
He still gets mail from young kids wanting advice on the illness and telling him that they've been inspired to chase their sporting dreams because of what he's achieved on a rugby league field.
This Sunday against Newcastle, the Manly team will run out in special jerseys (designed by 'Wolfman' David Williams) to help raise awareness for diabetes.
Brett, his brother Glenn and Wolfy will sign their jumpers and auction them online while a special t-shirt will also be available for sale.
Brett plans to put any money raised towards the purchase of insulin pumps for families in need of assistance.
It's a good cause so get behind it if you can.
As for Sunday's game, it will be a real test for this Newcastle side.
They are coming off a good win over Cronulla and can sniff a top-eight berth.
They were far too good for the Sea Eagles in Round 19 but I expect a vastly different result this time around.My Round 24 winners are: Bulldogs, Broncos, Raiders, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Titans, Sea Eagles, Cowboys.
See you next week.