Broncos CEO vows to beat brain tumour
Broncos CEO Paul White has been forced to take a leave of absence from the club as he prepares to start treatment on a "primary brain tumour" that was discovered a fortnight ago.
With the Broncos flying high both on and off the field, the news of White's condition has rocked both players and staff but the CEO has urged members and fans to channel their energies into supporting the team towards a seventh premiership.
White and his wife Angela have four daughters and while the news obviously came as a shock, White is determined to win the biggest battle of his life.
"It is treatable but I will have to undergo several months of treatment with some intensive treatment over the next six weeks," said White, whose treatment will commence next Wednesday.
"I do have a strong hope that I can beat this and make a full and complete recovery and there are many people worse off than myself.
"I'm relatively young and fit, I've always taken on challenges, I've got a very good medical team to support me along with my family and my friends and also my other family which is here at the football club.
"We've got the biggest supporter base in the country and believe you me I've heard from a lot of them the last couple of weeks and I sincerely appreciate their support.
"I hope that through my own journey I can help others and reinforce that I'm up for the fight and that it's a fight I intend to win."
In addition to the wider rugby league community White has even received a message of support from a person whom he put behind bars during his 17 years of service in the police force.
He joked that "it would be a game man" who would try to stop him from making a trip to Sydney on the first weekend of October should his Broncos figure in the Telstra Premiership Grand Final and expressed his need to stay involved with the club during such a difficult period.
"Part of the fight that I've got to go through, I'll draw strength from having an ongoing involvement with the club," said White, who took over as CEO in 2011.
"Rugby league has been a game that has been a part of who I am since I was six years old so I probably need it more than it needs me at the moment.
"I will continue to stay across the business and all key business activities and decisions. I'll work closely with Wayne (Bennett, Broncos coach), my chairman Dennis [Watt] and the board and my executive team but I may be away for long periods of time for treatment.
"I know what's ahead of me, I will confront the brutal facts and I'll work hard to make a full recovery and I want everyone to be relentless to maximise the opportunity we've got as a footy club this year.
"I've got to make sure I do the right things and my wife and my daughters will hold me to account there and make sure that from a health perspective I'm not burning the candles at both ends."
Broncos chairman Dennis Watt praised the leadership of White over the past four years and that everyone associated with the Broncos had been hit hard by the news.
"Paul is a dynamic leader, incredibly active and I think the initial reaction has just been of shock," said Watt.
"[It's been a shock] that someone who is as fit and as healthy and strong and such a driver as Paul has been hit with this, but I guess what it says is that it doesn't discriminate."
White said he has also been able to draw strength from coach Wayne Bennett who first eyed him as young police cadet in Brisbane some 30 years ago.
"He's at his best in times of great challenges and he's been great for me and my family over the last couple of weeks," he said.
"He's been great for me in putting things in perspective and being a strong confidant to lean on and I've taken the opportunity to do that."