Sometimes it’s about more than just the footy.
That was the case for 14-year-old Nathan Thrower who is recovering from a bone marrow transplant in Melbourne.
In November 2018 Nathan was diagnosed with the rare disease Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
He started chemotherapy treatment immediately but on December 13, Nathan’s parents were told his genetics would not react to the treatment and he wouldn’t live to see his 14th birthday.
Two rounds of chemo and four operations later and Nathan was running out onto Marvel Stadium with the SUNS as Junior Mascot for Round 18.
It’s been a difficult eight months for the Thrower family.
They spent Christmas together in Monash hospital and were released on New Year’s Eve.
Nathan was then admitted to The Royal Children’s Hospital where the family had one last meal together before 10 days of intense chemotherapy followed by the bone marrow transplant.
Nathan’s mum Jacinta dreaded to think her son’s time might be running out.
“As parents we were shattered but we kept faith,” Jacinta said in an email to the club.
“(After the transplant) we thought that was the end of it.”
According to his mum, the only thing that kept Nathan awake was watching his favourite Gold Coast SUNS player Brayden Fiorini play football.
Fiorini knows the Thrower family through a mutual friend and was quick to show his support for Nathan.
The 21-year-old facetimed Nathan during his recovery and even went out of his way to send him a Gold Coast SUNS guernsey and shorts.
Nathan is still recovering, but attended Friday’s training session in Melbourne where he got to meet all the players and coaches.
He even kicked a goal from the pocket to raucous applause from the SUNS players.
On Saturday he was given a tour of the changerooms by Senior Assistant Coach Dean Solomon as the players warmed up.
He then got the opportunity to run out with his team onto Marvel Stadium.
Nathan hasn’t stopped smiling since.
As a club, the SUNS are proud of people like Nathan who keep fighting despite the odds and embrace the challenge ahead of them.
The SUNS family is all behind you during your recovery, Nathan.