AFL great Stynes inspires with his fight - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL great Stynes inspires with his fight

By Roger Vaughan 14/09/2010 07:31:08 PM Comments (0)

Jim Stynes' life is now a succession of signposts, with the next big landmark to come in six weeks' time.

The 1991 AFL Brownlow Medallist and current Melbourne president is more than a year into his battle with a particularly-nasty form of cancer.

Stynes looked tired on Tuesday and said he was suffering from the `flu as he spoke about his ongoing treatment.

The Irishman explained that he is four weeks into a course of treatment with a new drug.

In six weeks, he will undergo scans to see how well the medication has treated his tumours.

"I'm not as strong and able as I was, I get tired easily," Stynes said.

Long-time friend Jules Lund explained that the effects of this latest treatment meant Stynes had to do something he is not used to - rest.

"He's willing to do whatever it takes - but rest," Lund said.

"(It's) the one thing he's struggled with most.

"He's going out of his mind with that."

In a documentary on Stynes to be screened nationally this month, his wife Sam candidly worries that the disease will eventually kill him.

Indeed, Stynes was only given nine months to life when first diagnosed in June last year and the documentary is mainly an account of what has happened since.

Another friend, former Melbourne star and AFL commentator Garry Lyon, speaks of Stynes' "refusal to accept and concede" and this attitude has fuelled the relentless fight against his illness.

"There are not many people who get the type of cancer I've got, let alone living with that many tumours," Stynes said.

"It's a vicious, shows-no-mercy type of cancer, it's unpredictable, there's no pattern."

Stynes has had 16 tumours removed from various parts of his body, another four are still inside.

There is a particularly-raw moment in the documentary when Stynes is told there is a new tumour in his brain.

Stynes is devastated - only three days earlier, another scan had shone that particular part of his brain was clear.

But the documentary is as uplifting as it is confronting as it details Stynes' incredible story.

He came to Australia as a raw Irish recruit and became of the greatest players in AFL history.

Stynes then helped establish the Reach Foundation, which helps teenagers.

He was diagnosed after becoming Melbourne president and has helped the club eradicate millions of dollars in debt and start the long climb up the AFL ladder.

The prognosis remains tough for Stynes, but his spirit remains incredible.

"We've managed to slow things down, normally with melanoma it's so fast," he said.

"Once you get past three or four tumours, you're likelihood of surviving is a lot smaller.

"I've managed to get rid of most of them, but also slow them down."

The Jim Stynes Story screens this Sunday on Channel Nine in Melbourne (1830 local time), Adelaide (1500) and Perth (1500).

It will screen in Sydney and Brisbane at 1630 on September 26.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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