Retired AFL great Gary Ablett Jr. has offered a rare update about his son Levi's devastating health condition, during an appearance on a special charity TV game show.
Ablett and his wife Jordan last year revealed that Levi had been diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease.
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Since making that heartbreaking revelation public, Jordan has frequently provided updates on Levi's around-the-clock medical care and frequent hospital visits.
Speaking to host Eddie McGuire on a special charity edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Geelong legend Ablett said he and Jordan were thrilled to be seeing "improvements" in Levi during his brave health battle.
“He is a beautiful boy with a pretty serious condition,” Ablett said.
“We are seeing some improvement, and Levi is having physiotherapy each day.
“The great thing about Levi is that he is a very determined boy and always happy. He brings so much joy to our lives.”
The Abletts took Levi to meet Aussie music icons, The Wiggles, over the weekend, with Jordan sharing touching images of their baby boy in Gary's arms.
“How special spending yesterday morning with @thewiggles. I think if we were to be honest with ourselves we were all a little starstruck, not just the kids,” Jordan wrote.
“I know Levi’s not smiling here but I know his heart would have been absolutely beaming!
Jordan last month opened up about the awful moment they found out about Levi's diagnosis, and his devastatingly short life expectancy.
Ablett family 'taking it day by day'
“I just remember sitting with Gaz in that meeting and when they said it I just remember absolutely breaking down,” Jordan told Mardi Dangerfield and Hester Brown in an interview for The Significant Other’s Podcast.
“It’s one thing to receive a diagnosis which just confirms that Levi has a rare and degenerative disease, however it’s another thing to understand that it is life-threatening and that’s like a whole other ball game and a whole other situation in itself because that stuff you just can’t prepare for.
“There is a very short life expectancy which is why I constantly say to people when they ask about Levi that we are literally just taking it day by day because we have no idea what the future holds.”
The Abletts first spoke about Levi's plight before they relocated to Queensland when Melbourne-based AFL teams were forced out of Victoria at the height of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.
Jordan said they initially wanted to keep the diagnosis to themselves, but spoke publicly for a number of reasons.
“The week we announced it, that was the week that the boys then moved into the hub, so he was going with them and he wasn’t sure how long he would stay,” she said.
“He thought it would be a good idea also to put that out there so people had a bit of an understanding, so that if he decided to leave, I can guarantee you that unless they knew what the reasons were, it was ‘Why is Gaz leaving the hub?’"
On top of Levi's diagnosis, Jordan was also rocked by the death of her mother around the same time.
“Mum wanted to be sure that I would be supported and I guess by holding on to that and not sharing that, how can people help if we refuse to allow people to help by being honest with them and letting them know what is up,” she said.
“The third reason was, we felt that, and this was not the intention, but we felt by us not sharing it was like we were saying Levi ‘Don’t be you’, and that was never the case."
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