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AFL champion Gary Ablett Jnr reveal his son is battling ‘a rare, degenerative disease’

‘We don’t know what the future holds’: AFL great Gary Ablett Jnr and his wife reveal their son, 17 months, is battling ‘a rare degenerative disease’ as pair share gut-wrenching tributes to the toddler

  • Gary Ablett Jnr played his 350th AFL match for the Geelong Cats on Saturday
  • He posted a message to fans on Sunday and revealed his son Levi’s diagnosis 
  • The 36-year-old said Levi was diagnosed with a ‘rare and degenerative disease’
  • His wife Jordan uploaded a post reading ‘we don’t know what the future holds’  

Gary Ablett Jnr and his wife Jordan have revealed their young son Levi is fighting a rare illness.

The Geelong Cats superstar played his 350th AFL match on Saturday before posting a heartfelt Instagram message on Sunday afternoon to thank fans, friends and family for their support and share the 17-month-old’s diagnosis.

‘Yesterday was a very special day and I’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone for your messages of support and encouragement,’ his post reads. ‘To reach this milestone was extra special for my family and I for a number of reasons.

Gary Ablett Jnr has revealed his son Levi (pictured together) has been diagnosed with a rare disease

‘In the recent months, my wife and I have privately fought and continue to fight some pretty tough battles. Some of you might already know that Jordan is caring for her mum as she battles with cancer. But what many of you don’t know is that our son has been recently diagnosed with a rare and degenerative disease.

‘After a great amount of thought and consideration, we decided that it’s time to share this with you. We thank you for your love and support and want to emphasise just how grateful we are to be Levi’s parents.

‘He is a true blessing to us and our family and we love him so deeply. Anyone who knows him knows how full of joy he is and how he always has a smile on his face.

‘I would also like to thank the Geelong football club for the way you have cared for our family throughout this time, always ensuring that we feel loved and fully supported.

Ablett (pictured with Levi and his wife Jordan) played his 350th AFL game for Geelong over the weekend

Ablett (pictured with Levi and his wife Jordan) played his 350th AFL game for Geelong over the weekend

‘The biggest thank you needs to go to my wife, Jordan. Without you I wouldn’t have made it to 350 games. All of those nights looking after our boy, allowing me to get a good nights sleep before main training and games.

‘The many things that you do for Levi and I all the while hurting and caring for your mum and also trying to get your head around Levi’s diagnosis. You’re so strong and resilient… I love you Jordan.’

Ablett’s post was followed with an open letter to the 17-month-old uploaded on Jordan’s Instagram account.

‘To our dearest Levi, words will never be enough to express just how full our hearts are of love for you,’ the post reads.

‘You’ve only been with us for a short while but you’ve already taught us more than some people learn in a lifetime.

Ablett's post was followed with an open letter to Levi on Jordan's Instagram account (pictured together)

Ablett’s post was followed with an open letter to Levi on Jordan’s Instagram account (pictured together)

‘Although it has been a difficult journey and start to life, your diagnosis does not take away any ounce of our love for you. Your joy is contagious and not even this disease is able to steal it from you. We pray for you every day and we will continue to take each day as it comes.

‘You are so loved by all of the people in your world and you are and will continue to be a true miracle.

‘We have no doubt that we are your parents for a reason, and we feel a strong sense of privilege to be entrusted with such a great and precious responsibility.

‘We don’t know what our future holds together but we do know that you’ll never have to feel alone.’

Ablett will remain with the Cats during the hub period and travel to NSW and Western Australia while his family stays home. 

The 36-year-old kicked an incredible late goal from outside fifty in the Cats 37-point win over the Gold Coast Suns on Saturday.

He is the son of Gary Ablett Snr, a Geelong legend who is widely considered one of the greatest players of the modern era.  

Jordan (pictured with Levi) uploaded a post reading 'we don't know what the future holds'

Jordan (pictured with Levi) uploaded a post reading ‘we don’t know what the future holds’


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