AFL broadcaster Sandy Roberts has left the footy world in shock after revealing he was diagnosed with myeloma, a form of blood cancer, 12 months ago. The popular sports presenter, 73, learned of the diagnosis following an x-ray after a fall.
Roberts has now taken his diagnosis public in a bid to raise awareness about the form of cancer, which has no known cause or cure. It is also considered to be one of the most deadly forms of cancer, having the distinction of being the blood cancer with the lowest survival rate.
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Roberts, a media veteran who called more than 1100 AFL games throughout his illustrious career, told the Herald Sun he had decided the time was right to share his story, in the hopes of making people more aware of the disease. He is supporting not-for-profit organisation Myeloma Australia's upcoming Tax Appeal fundraising effort.
“I ended up in hospital and was told I didn’t have any broken bones or internal injuries, but that I did have cancer," Roberts said. “Just like that; we had no idea.
"If I hadn’t fallen, who knows what would have been the outcome. It was such a shock. I’d had open heart surgery three months earlier and came out of that feeling good.”
Roberts called time on his 46-year broadcasting career back in 2019. During that time he was on the microphone for a whopping 19 AFL grand finals, 25 Australian Open grand slams, as well as several Olympic and Winter Olympic events.
Sandy Roberts diagnosis prompts outpouring of support
On social media, fans were quick to send Roberts their well-wishes. Many were left shocked by the diagnosis and what little is known about myeloma.
Sandy Roberts is synonymous with me growing up watching AFL. I hear his voice and it reminds me so much of being a kid. So sad to hear the news of his diagnosis. Sending love and thoughts to him and his family ❤️
— Tricia Mifsud (@triciamifsud) May 15, 2023
My first baby steps into footy broadcast/media were boundary riding for @1116sen (then AFL Live) on Friday nights with the likes of Rex, Billy, Donners & the iconic Sandy Roberts.
Shattered to hear of his diagnosis.
A finer human you’d struggle to meet.
You got this Sandles! 👊🏻
— Benny Jones (@benjiman1983) May 15, 2023
As a kid, I loved listening to Sandy Roberts. As a @GeelongCats man, this was one of my favourites, “Ablett! Couldn’t take the mark ... oh he’s alight Gary Ablett look at this ... here is the magician at work ... he shoots towards goal ... What more can you say?!” Go well Sandy
— Michael Zappone (@Michael_Zappone) May 15, 2023
Sad news. 😢
Sandy is an #AFL legend.
Several generations grew up with his entertaining footy commentary and positive personality.
Best of luck Sandy and thanks for raising awareness about this terrible disease. 💜 https://t.co/RCtSSuBCb8
— Cheryl Critchley (@CherylCritchley) May 15, 2023
Great story on Sandy Roberts and his current battle with Multiple Myeloma.
A cause close to my heart.
Great that this insidious cancer has a face now in Sandy Roberts.
— rod (@RodChapple) May 15, 2023
He and his wife, Carolyn, praised the work of Myeloma Australia, with Carolyn recalling how she was on the phone to the organisation within hours of the diagnosis. Neither of them had ever heard of myeloma before - something Roberts said is all too common among those diagnosed.
“We are speaking up to give other Myeloma patients like me hope,” Sandy said. “And I am asking you to give generously to Myeloma Australia.
“There are trials all around the world. I am asking for help to cure myeloma.”
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