Lealiifano in remission following leukaemia diagnosis
Australia international Christian Lealiifano has revealed he is in remission after being diagnosed with leukaemia last August.
The Brumbies co-captain attended a club fan day in Canberra on Saturday, 100 days on from undergoing a bone marrow transplant.
Lealiifano was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying: "The doctors said the transplant was a success and everything is looking good in there and the cancer isn't showing up so I'm in remission at the moment but there is still a way to go.
"It's a massive milestone today [Saturday] because that's the timeframe they sort of give you, 100 days after the transplant gives you a rough idea of where you stand, so to be cancer-free is quite amazing and why I've got a big smile on my face."
The 29-year-old, who had two sessions of chemotherapy treatment prior to his transplant, says his outlook on life has altered significantly.
He added: "As hard as it is to say, I'm definitely blessed to have gone through this experience because not many people experience it and the lessons you learn are massive.
"I had some really dark days where things got tough and all those negative thoughts come into your mind, the 'why me' and 'should I just give up' type stuff, but to be able to come out the other side of that has been quite an amazing thing.
"Being in the environment of a professional footy player the world is moving so quick that you don't really get time to smell the roses and appreciate what you have.
"I'm really lucky compared to some of the people I've seen in the wards. I've met some special people in there and my message is stay positive, the days will get hard and dark but the next day the sun is going to come up and shine on you again."
Lealiifano is set to take up a coaching role with the Brumbies as he continues his recovery.
"You miss it [playing] because you love the game so much and it's such a big part of my life, but I'm such a student of the game and I love learning and picking up little things and trying to improve my game while I'm not playing," he explained.
"I've spoken to Bernie [Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham] about some part-time coaching stuff, it's more of a mentoring role. I'm keen to help out the younger guys and ease a bit of the load for Bernie."