Dire di­ag­no­sis can’t stop a for­mer Ea­gle

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

A PAN­CRE­ATIC cancer di­ag­no­sis was the last thing for­mer Whit­sun­day Sea Ea­gles vice-pres­i­dent Steve Mac­Gre­gor ex­pected when he vis­ited his doc­tor.

Mac­Gre­gor booked an ap­point­ment af­ter suf­fer­ing sore­ness he be­lieved was caused by a heavy tackle dur­ing the ‘Trop­i­cal Debbie Cup’ a few weeks ago.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the news, he trav­elled to Townsville Hos­pi­tal for a biopsy and was told that if the cancer metas­ta­sised, chemo­ther­apy would be his only op­tion, giv­ing him a 50% chance of sur­vival.

De­spite the health scare, Mac­Gre­gor was out and about at the Whit­sun­day Sportspark the week­end be­fore last help­ing to coach ju­nior AFL games.

“They gave me my coach­ing role again with my kids and they were ex­cited to see me,” he said.

“The Bald Ea­gles have also re­ally helped me. I used to work with Jack Lumby on Shute Har­bour and he has been com­fort­ing and has re­ally helped me through it.

“I’m stay­ing pos­i­tive with my fam­ily rather than be­ing in a bed do­ing noth­ing.”

Mac­Gre­gor’s con­nec­tion with the Sea Ea­gles stretches as far back as 1990 when the side was known as the ‘Whit­sun­day Bloods’.

“I came up here in 1990 and went into a cou­ple of grand fi­nals and played ever since,” he said.

“I love my foot­ball and I’m big with the Ea­gles and do as much as pos­si­ble with that club to keep them up and go­ing.”

Mac­Gre­gor said he spoke to the club pres­i­dent who was in the stages of or­gan­is­ing a party to wel­come him home. The Bald Ea­gles have con­trib­uted $300 to as­sist him with med­i­cal pro­ce­dures in Townsville. WHIT­SUN­DAY Shire Fam­ily Day Care have ral­lied in sup­port of one of their long-time families, Caro­line Gouge and her three-year -old son Brax­ton.

Whit­sun­day Shire Fam­ily Day Care sur­prised Caro­line, who was re­cently given a ter­mi­nal cancer di­ag­no­sis, with a morn­ing tea last week, where she was pre­sented with a num­ber of do­na­tions.

Co-or­di­na­tor Amanda Brett said it was an emo­tional morn­ing for all.

“Caro­line is such a beau­ti­ful, ded­i­cated mother to lit­tle Brax­ton and we were all dev­as­tated to hear the di­ag­no­sis and we wanted to do some­thing to help Caro­line to pre­serve mem­o­ries for Brax­ton’s fu­ture,” she said.

When the day care be­came aware of Caro­line’s ter­mi­nal cancer di­ag­no­sis, they reached out to the com­mu­nity, their ed­u­ca­tors and families for sup­port to raise funds, ini­tially for a record­able bear for Brax­ton and a photo shoot to cap­ture mum and son mem­o­ries. They were in­un­dated with of­fers and do­na­tions.

Caro­line was over­whelmed by the gen­eros­ity.

“I can­not be­lieve how sup­port­ive our lit­tle com­mu­nity is,” she said. “Thank you ev­ery­one, so very much. It’s all about Brax, not me. We are do­ing it all for him.”

A GoFundMe page has been cre­ated to as­sist Caro­line with the fi­nan­cial bur­dens of med­i­cal ex­penses and to cre­ate last­ing mem­o­ries for Brax­ton.

To see who do­nated visit whit­sun­day­times.com.au.

PHOTO: JA­COB WIL­SON

TO­GETHER: Scott and Steve Mac­Gre­gor are stand­ing strong in the face of a pan­cre­atic cancer di­ag­no­sis.

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