Gary Ablett lifts the lid on son's devastating diagnosis

Australian Associated Press
·4-min read
Gary Ablett, pictured here with son Levi and wife Jordan.
Gary Ablett with son Levi and wife Jordan. Images: Instagram

Geelong champion Gary Ablett has shared the heartbreaking news that his infant son Levi is battling a rare and degenerative disease.

Ablett, who celebrated his 350th AFL game milestone with a win against Gold Coast at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday, revealed his family's private struggles via an Instagram post on Sunday afternoon.

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“In the recent months, my wife and I have privately fought and continue to fight some pretty tough battles,” Ablett wrote.

“Some of you might already know that Jordan is caring for her mum as she battles with cancer.

“But what many of you don't know is that our son has been recently diagnosed with a rare and degenerative disease.

“After a great amount of thought and consideration, we decided that it's time to share this with you.

“We thank you for your love and support and want to emphasise just how grateful we are to be Levi's parents.

“He is a true blessing to us and our family and we love him so deeply.

“Anyone who knows him knows how full of joy he is and how he always has a smile on his face.

“I would also like to thank the Geelong Football Club for the way you have cared for our family throughout this time, always ensuring that we feel loved and fully supported.

“The biggest thank you needs to go to my wife, Jordan. Without you I wouldn't have made it to 350 games.”

In a devastating twist, Ablett will now leave his young family and join his Cats teammates as they depart Victoria for an AFL hub in Sydney early this week.

Geelong will then head to another hub in Perth after round six - probably for the remainder of the AFL season due to Victoria’s virus outbreak.

Ablett and Selwood relish milestones

Joel Selwood's 300th AFL game proved a simple summation of his career to date: dominating contested football, leading from the front - and winning.

The Geelong captain was involved from the outset in a 37-point win over Gold Coast at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.

But Selwood and Ablett, in game 350, almost looked set to have their party spoiled when the Suns took the lead in the third term - before class prevailed late.

“I think more than me it was our senior players that reminded the rest of the group that (these are) a couple of guys that deserved more than we were giving them,” Cats coach Chris Scott said post-match.

Selwood finished his night with 22 disposals, eight tackles, five clearances and four points.

Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood, pictured here leaving the field after Geelong's victory.
Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood leave the field following Geelong's victory. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images )

“It's weird, it's wonderful right now,” he admitted.

“It's strange with no-one being here but we understand that there would have been a lot of people, so we're sad for them.”

For Ablett, the contest was a quieter affair at half-forward, with just 14 touches during the contest.

But the Little Master stole the show late, capping the victory with a tremendous long bomb.

“It was very nice,” Ablett told reporters after the siren.

“I hadn't touched the ball much and 'Hawk' had been saying to me for about 10 minutes, 'Mate, if I mark the ball outside 50, just lead back up at me and I'll get you one.'

“When I marked it I wasn't sure if it was going to make the distance but I was not passing it and I was just glad it went through.”

with Yahoo Sports staff