AFL world rallies around Sonja Hood after shock breast cancer reveal

The news about the North Melbourne president has sparked an outpouring of support.

Sonja Hood, pictured here at North Melbourne.
Sonja Hood's announcement has sparked an outpouring of support in AFL land. Image: Getty

The AFL world is rallying around Sonja Hood after the North Melbourne president revealed on Friday that she's been diagnosed with breast cancer. In a statement released on Friday, Hood announced the shock diagnosis but said she's expected to make a full recovery.

The statement said a lump was detected during a scheduled mammogram and a subsequent biopsy determined it would need to be removed. Hood said she will undergo surgery in the coming weeks.

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"The diagnosis was a bit of a shock after the lump was picked up in a routine mammogram - one that I nearly skipped," Dr Hood said in a club statement. "I'm shocked, angry, a bit scared, but more than all of that, I'm positive.

"I know that this is going to be OK. We've caught it early and we're not wasting any time in getting rid of it."

Sonja Hood, pictured here with Richmond president Peggy O'Neal at the 2022 AFLW Awards.
Sonja Hood with Richmond president Peggy O'Neal at the 2022 AFLW Awards. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Hood took the opportunity to urge others to undergo routine medical checks. She added: “Aside from sending good vibes, there’s only one thing that I’m going to ask that you do – if you or someone in your life (Mum, Dad, partner, sibling, grandparent) should be having routine medical checks and they aren’t, nag them into going.

“At worst it’s half an hour they’ll never get back but you just don’t know when it might save a life.” Fans and commentators have been sending their well-wishes to Hood on social media.

Club legend David King tweeted: "It’s been a really shitty few years for the Kangas, but tonight footy takes a back seat as our thoughts are with the Pres Sonja Hood at this tough time. Know that the shinboner faithful are right behind you. Good luck."

Tumultuous times at North Melbourne continue

Hood began her role as North Melbourne president in March last year and has overseen a tumultuous time at the club. It began with the sacking of Mark Noble and subsequent hiring of Alastair Clarkson, who then became embroiled in allegations of racism against former club Hawthorn.

Earlier this week, Kangaroos player Tarryn Thomas stepped away from the club following fresh allegations of mistreatment towards women. The new allegations reportedly involve threatening a woman.

The AFL's integrity unit informed the Kangaroos of the allegation on Wednesday afternoon, just hours after Hood released a statement referring to "serious and confronting allegations" against Thomas. "Tarryn Thomas will take time away from the club after the AFL's Integrity Unit informed North Melbourne of a new allegation of inappropriate behaviour," the Kangaroos said in a statement on Wednesday night.

Sonja Hood, pictured here with her father John in August last year.
Sonja Hood with her father John in August last year. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

"As detailed in the club's statement earlier on Wednesday, the club and Thomas made a commitment to co-operate fully in any investigation if new information was presented. In light of this new information, Thomas will remain away from the club while the AFL gathers further information about the allegations.

"In the meantime, Thomas will be expected to meet his obligations around his respectful behaviour training and education program, as outlined in club correspondence earlier today."

Last month Thomas was charged with threatening to distribute an intimate image. In a separate incident, he was stopped by police when driving with a suspended licence during the Christmas break.

with AAP

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