The Gold Coast SUNS are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ryley Kemp from an inoperable brain tumour, DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma).
Despite only being introduced to Ryley in July of 2022, he touched the lives of many at the SUNS, including athletes, coaches, football and administration staff, as well as the wider community.
A passionate Gold Coast SUNS fan, Ryley was invited into the club after a match day experience in Round 20 facilitated by the Ronald McDonald House Charity – with he and his family experiencing a behind the scenes tour and exclusive kick to kick with SUNS players including Alex Sexton and Brayden Fiorini.
His commitment to the club and immediate impact saw the SUNS invite Ryley to go through a day in the life of an AFL player – his ultimate dream - signing a contract to be #39, as well as participating in gym and football skills sessions, dietician and massage appointments and team meetings.
His support of the team continued, running out as junior mascot in a VFL finals match, sending video messages of support to the team pre-game and inclusion in the team song after both AFL and VFL wins (remotely and in person).
Ryley and his parents made a profound impact on all whose paths they crossed, with special mention to Sexton and the entire football club who were pivotal in the ongoing integration into the SUNS environment.
Ryley celebrated his eight birthday on Monday 19th December, which he spent with his loving parents Beau and Terry.
DIPG is the deadliest form of childhood cancer, with up to 20 children expected to be diagnosed in Australia each year.
The club sends their sincere condolences to Beau, Terry and Ryley’s extended family at this time.
Vale Ryley Kemp.