Rebekah Stott has revealed she has been diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but the Football Fern isn’t letting the news get her down.
The 27-year-old defender announced the diagnosis on social media this morning, saying she found out about it three weeks ago.
“I know the journey ahead will be difficult, but I want to face each obstacle with a positive mindset and help inspire others who have blood cancer too,” Stott wrote on Twitter.
Stott had been in England after signing on with Brighton and Hove Albion last year but revealed in a video attached to her tweet she opted to return home when she realised something was wrong.
“I had two big lumps on my neck that were growing,” Stott said.
“It was pretty intense, and pretty stressful, but the at the same time I had a lot of support around me.”
After a biopsy with medical staff while still in the UK, she was told the lumps could be lymphoma which led her to research up on the blood cancer.
With the UK’s National Health Service bogged down from Covid-19 cases, Stott opted to come back to New Zealand to begin her recovery.
“I was in quarantine when I got the result that I had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma,'’ she said.
“I was kind of glad to know exactly what it is and be like, ‘Alright, now I can try and deal with it.'
“It had travelled below my diaphragm which means it’s Stage 3, so I’ll do a more intense chemotherapy.”
Her treatment will involve four months of a 21-day cycle of chemotherapy, which she said leaves her with a high risk of losing her fertility, losing her hair and will feel “pretty crook”.
Despite all that, though, she’s still going into it with a positive mindset.
“I think being an elite athlete will help me because I’m very healthy and I’m pretty fit,” she said.
“I know it’s not going to be easy but I really want to go through this with a positive attitude and try and encourage and inspire others to do the same – that’s going to help me get through the process.
“I know it’s going to be hard but I know if I go in with that mindset, it’s only going to help me.”
Stott has 81 international caps since making her Football Ferns debut in 2012 and most recently helped Melbourne City win the 2020 W-League in Australia.