Titans walk tall for cancer cause
He has his own story to tell but touched by the bravery of a little boy who passed away just days after his first birthday, Titans captain Nate Myles and his teammates will this weekend stand alongside those battling lymphoma, the fifth most common cause of cancer in Australia.
Myles's wife Tessa James has been waging her own war against lymphoma after being diagnosed 12 months ago with Hodgkin's lymphoma and the Origin hard-man saw another harsh dose of reality when young Hamish O'Brien was invited into the sheds after a Titans game earlier this year.
Having been diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma at just six months of age, Myles described Hamish as "laughing and giggling" in the Titans dressing room, his parents' wish for him to see his first birthday granted before the cruellest of loss in the days following.
Titans players will join more than 200 supporters at the Legs Out for Lymphoma walk from Mudgeeraba's Firth Park on Sunday prior to their clash against the Raiders where they will wear bright green laces in their boots in support of the cause.
He claims to rank lowly in terms of nobility but Myles appreciates that his personal experience and public profile can be powerful tools in helping others.
"It's been an eye-opener and it's been different but we now get to meet some great people and try and impact in a positive way in these situations," Myles said of what he and Tessa have been through over the past year.
"I am not the most noble of people when it comes to all this sort of stuff but I definitely feel I'm in a position to help others.
"I wish it didn't have to be in the situation that it has been for myself and Tess but there's a positive that can come from everything and this is definitely it.
"I was fortunate enough to meet Hamish at a home game and his beautiful parents and for me it was sad but we're now trying to make a positive out of a negative."
Hamish's brave parents Damian and Natasha have taken the pain they have been through this year and channelled their energies into raising awareness around lymphoma, a task Natasha says is made easier by the Titans' involvement.
"Damo and I have done what we can but having Nate and Tessa on board is our way to help more and get lymphoma out in the community which is what we need," Natasha said.
"We had no idea what it was before Hamish was diagnosed so we're just trying to get the awareness out there as much as we can.
"When we were in hospital I was in denial about the whole situation so I didn't want to research or look into anything but now I need to do what I can in memory of Hamish, to get more awareness of lymphoma."
The Gold Coast Legs Out for Lymphoma walk will be held from 11am on Sunday at Mudgeeraba with shuttle buses on hand afterwards to take Titans fans to Cbus Super Stadium. For more information on Legs Out for Lymphoma events nationally visit Lymphoma Australia.