Kwinana ‘walkie-talkie’ coach fighting cancer

Kwinana footy coach Glenn Riseley has been undergoing chemotherapy for stage four Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Kwinana footy coach Glenn Riseley has been undergoing chemotherapy for stage four Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

A KWINANA resident who has been coaching his junior footy team via a walkie-talkie from his car is facing financial pressures after being diagnosed with cancer last November.

Glenn Riseley (43) has been undergoing chemotherapy for stage four Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma since January but is only receiving $1100 a month from his superannuation company while he tries to re-negotiate mortgage repayments.

Mr Riseley has been the coach of a Kwinana Knights junior football team for four years but since his diagnosis cannot go near people and risk infection because his immune system is at a dangerously low level.

He has worked in the properties department at Curtin University for 25 years and is hoping to return to work later this year if his treatment is successful.

In the meantime he is depending on his insurance payout to support his family while undergoing chemotherapy.

“My body isn’t making white blood cells so I’ve got to stay away from people but it’s very difficult,” he said.

“It makes it hard with the footy because I can’t coach the kids.”

“They might pick something up at school and bring it to training.”

Mr Riseley has resorted to coaching his Year 4 team from his car, communicating with his assistant coach via a walkie-talkie when he is feeling well enough to do so.

His involvement with the footy club is very important to him.

“I get a kick out of coaching,” he said. “They are a great bunch of kids and they are very close.”

Mr Riseley also thanked the club for its support, particularly president Dave Acker.

Mr Riseley’s children, Jobe and Cooper, have had to get used to going out with his partner Amanda on their own.

“The boys can’t have visitors at home to play with. We’ve had to put a stop to all that,” he said.

It was a huge shock when Mr Riseley was diagnosed with cancer after having no previous symptoms apart from a lump on his neck and it was confirmed as cancer just three days before Christmas.

Some of the mums of the players in Mr Riseley’s team have set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise funds for the family.

One of the organisers, Helen Jones, said Mr Riseley was a wonderful caring family man and Kwinana community member.

“He has been our coach for four years and is always the first person to help anyone and be there for everyone in our community,” Ms Jones said.

“We can’t cure his cancer but we can try to ease his financial pressures so he and his partner Amanda can concentrate on his fight.

“He is fighting for his life so can we please help take some pressure off so he can have one less worry.”

Meanwhile, the club is organising a fundraising coaching clinic in July. The date has yet to be fixed.

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