Daylight tackles toughest battle
THE number of people to have taken pleasure watching Dean Daylight play rugby league in Ipswich is too many to count.
Saturday is the time for every one of them to turn out to Llewellyn Motors Field to pay back a little of what Daylight has given to them.
The former Swifts, Brothers and Goodna playmaker, best known for organising backlines and cutting opposing defences to shreds, is now fighting his toughest opponent.
About three months ago he was diagnosed with lymphoma behind his sinus.
Ongoing treatment will see Daylight's medical expenses mount into tens of thousands of dollars and the end is still a long way off.
So a group of family and friends have combined to organise a fund-raising touch football tournament at Swifts' Purga grounds on Saturday to help out.
Daylight is in the middle of a six month chemotherapy course, six times a week every second week.
That will be followed by stem cell treatment in January, then a course of radiation therapy.
Daylight's private health fund covers the chemo but not the radiation, stem cell treatment or pharmacy costs.
"His private health care doesn't cover half of it and he's got a mortgage and two small kids," said Marion Nelio, one of Daylight's close family friends and fundraiser.
Daylight admitted there were days he didn't get out of bed, he is so sick and weary from the treatment. But he is continuing his fight in a positive frame of mind.
"He gets really tired out with the treatment," Nelio said.
"But he has good days too.
"Dean's looking forward to a nice family day on Saturday, which is drug and alcohol-free.
"There's been a great response from sponsors and people with donations, mainly from Ipswich.
"We'll have a multi draw raffle of donated prizes.
"It is amazing the way people have come together to help."
With the raffles, profits from food and drinks and $200 from each of the 16 teams involved, Nelio hopes to raise "seven or eight thousand dollars".
It is just the start of what is required.
However, Daylight's strength will continue to inspire those close to him so it will not be a battle he faces alone.