The football community is getting together over the next few weeks to raise awareness of a little known cancer that has a devastating impact on people of all ages – particularly the young.
Clubs from the AFL, Perth metropolitan area and the Goldfields will be donning odd socks to raise awareness of sarcoma and its symptoms and raising money to support research.
The West Coast Eagles have at least three players with family or friends that have been impacted by sarcoma: Luke Foley’s cousin passed away as a result of sarcoma at the age of 15, Chris Masten has two young friends who survived sarcoma but who are now on the heart transplant list as a result of the effects of sarcoma treatment and Dom Sheed has a cousin who has survived sarcoma. As a result, the entire squad will be training in odd socks on Monday July 1 to help with spreading the message about the need to be aware of sarcoma symptoms and have them addressed quickly.
Foley’s cousin Kalin Foley is the inspiration for the West Perth, Claremont and Subiaco Football Districts getting together to play in odd socks after he was diagnosed with sarcoma after being injured during a football match. Players from the West Perth League side all the way down to juniors will be playing in odd socks.
The Goldfields Football League players and umpires will be supporting local hero Dom Sheed’s efforts to spread the message as well with participants donning specially made pink and blue socks and customised umpires uniforms for the round.
Sarcoma is a primary cancer of bone and soft tissue that can occur anywhere throughout the body. Symptoms typically include odd lumps, bumps, aches or pains that are unexplained and persist for more than two-three weeks. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms is urged to have them checked by a GP as quickly as possible. Like all cancers, the earlier the intervention, the better the chance of a favourable outcome.
WA Sarcoma Awareness Week kicks off in the first week of July and Odd Socks Football Round will be on the weekend leading into it – 28th, 29th and 30th of June.
Sock it to Sarcoma! is a for-purpose organisation with the mission of improving awareness of sarcoma and its symptoms, raising money for sarcoma research and supporting patients undergoing sarcoma treatment. The organisation was founded by passionate Fremantle Dockers cheer squad member Abbie Basson before she passed away from sarcoma at the age of 20.