A Warrnambool father of four is facing his biggest battle.
Damian Jones, who was appointed president of the newly formed Spring Creek cricket club late last year, is at the Andrew Love Cancer Centre in Geelong.
The 38-year-old is expected to be at the centre for at least six months to undergo chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma in January.
Mr Jones' mother Deanne Fernie said her son had a long road ahead of him.
But she is confident his competitive spirit, which he has fostered through associations with the Caramut, Nirranda, South Rovers and Russells Creek football clubs, will help him beat the disease.
A GoFundMe page set up for Mr Jones has raised almost $4000, something Ms Fernie said her son is incredibly grateful for.
"He's not the sort of person to ask for help, he's usually the one helping others," said.
Ms Fernie said the money raised would help Mr Jones support his children - Gus, 13, Zane, 15, Lennox, 11, and Peyton, 8.
She said his diagnosis came shortly after he started a new job, which meant he hadn't built up leave entitlements. "He had only just started there and a few weeks before his diagnosis, his car blew up," she said.
Ms Fernie said her son was battling extreme fatigue after his first round of chemotherapy last week.
He is also having difficulty talking due to a hole in his oesophagus. "He has already had surgery to insert a feeding tube and a stent in his throat," Ms Fernie said.
"He will be unable to eat for the next six months."
Ms Fernie said her son had a very important message to share.
"He had been ignoring his symptoms," she said.
These included a sore throat, fatigue and night sweats.
"He wants to get the message out there to other people to go to the doctor and get checked," Ms Fernie said.
"Don't ignore symptoms - the earlier you find out what's going on, the better the prognosis."
Mr Jones' son Gus, who is in year eight at Brauer College, was pleased to be allowed to visit his father for a short time last week.
He helped his dad shave his head.
Ms Fernie said the family was incredibly grateful to the staff at the cancer centre.
"They've been incredibly supportive," Ms Fernie said.
She said the generosity of Warrnambool residents was also shining through, with her son receiving many messages of support. "We'd like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported Damian and the kids," Ms Fernie said.
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