Cancer battle is bigger than game itself for young football fans


William Stagg (second from left) and Caelan Mack (front right) with other mascots and Eagles players Andrew Gaff and Luke Shuey.
William Stagg (second from left) and Caelan Mack (front right) with other mascots and Eagles players Andrew Gaff and Luke Shuey.

MARANGAROO resident William Stagg was only four when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and has since spent nearly a year in hospital during his treatment.

Hillarys youngster Caelan Mack sadly lost his dad to cancer in 2014.

While cancer has touched the two differently, they share a common bond in the support they have received from Cancer Council WA.

Next month they will add another tie when they become mascots for the West Coast Eagles in their annual Dig Deep match.

William and Caelan helped launch this year’s Cancer Council WA fundraiser recently with a group of children who have each had their own cancer journey.

They met West Coast’s Cancer Council WA ambassadors Andrew Gaff and Luke Shuey, who are already spruiking the $5 wristbands supporters can buy ahead of Dig Deep Day and wear to the Eagles’ July 23 home game against Melbourne.

“We have managed to raise $1.1 million so far,” Shuey said.

“It’s a huge effort, but this year we are looking to raise at least another $100,000. We are aiming to find a cure for cancer, as everyone is. It’s something that we hold extremely close to our hearts.”

Dig Deep wristbands are already on sale at Caltex service stations, the Eagles team store and Cancer Council WA’s shop in Subiaco.

“I urge West Coast or Melbourne supporters to get to the game and support what is a much bigger battle than the game itself,” Shuey said.