Emerging Australian football player Dylan Tombides is being treated for testicular cancer after being diagnosed in June while on international duty.
The 17-year-old is contracted to English side West Ham United, and his club and Football Federation Australia have confirmed Tombides was diagnosed while away with his country at the FIFA under-17s World Cup in Mexico.
Tombides immediately returned to England and West Ham’s medical staff arranged for a further assessment by doctors.
He has already started his first course of chemotherapy at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, which is the standard treatment for his condition.
He has since returned home to rest and will continue further treatment in the coming weeks.
“Dylan is receiving the best possible care. All the doctors involved have advised Tombides that he will make a full recovery in terms of his illness and his ability to return to his football career,” said West Ham club doctor, Sean Howlett.
“He is undergoing the standard series of treatments for his condition which is a course of chemotherapy.”
FFA chief executive Ben Buckley sent a message of support to Tombides family, while Craig Moore, who was himself diagnosed with testicular cancer two and a half years ago, has been providing support to the teenager over the past few weeks.
“I spoke to Dylan not long after the diagnosis and my message was that he should stay extremely positive,” said Moore.
“The success rates in treating this form of the disease are very high and I’m fortunate that I have the all clear.
“It’s tough for a teenager to deal with this, but Dylan has plenty of support from family and friends and I will be among many people who will be there for him throughout this time.
“I’ve told him to keep his head up and not to get too frustrated about missing his pre-season with West Ham. He’s a quality player with a great attitude and he can overcome this challenge.”
The West Ham United Academy Player of the Year is aiming to visit his teammates as soon as possible, including for the squad’s annual team photo.
by Buford Balony