'They're not alone': James Jeggo shines light on cancer battle

Having recovered from the condition himself, James Jeggo knows as well as anyone the challenging journey that Rebekah Stott has in front of her after the New Zealand international was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. 

The Socceroos midfielder also praised international teammate Rhyan Grant's outstanding efforts to raise money and awareness for a cause close to his heart, the Leukaemia Foundation. 

PHOTOS: Rhyan Grant cuts mullet and raises over $25,000 for World's Greatest Shave

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At the age of 16, Jeggo's time with the Victorian Institute of Sport came to an end as he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of blood cancer. 

After months of severe pain in the lead-up to the diagnosis, he endured eight months of chemotherapy in order to treat the condition. 

Fortunately, Jeggo's absence from football only lasted a year as he made a full recovery and in the years that followed, made his A-League debut with Melbourne Victory at the age of 19. 

Now 29, after a productive five-year stint in the nation of his birth Austria, Jeggo has five international caps to his name and is currently starring for second-placed Greek Super League club Aris. 

Speaking on The Socceroos Podcast, the midfielder extended his support for former Melbourne City defender Stott as she shared the news of her diagnosis with stage three Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

"It's something that's close to my heart, having suffered leukemia when I was a bit younger," Jeggo said. 

"It is a really difficult time for anybody at any stage in your life, and I think the biggest thing that helps you get through is that support network: I was really lucky I had my brother and my parents who were constantly there.

I had my mates from school and old football coaches who would always come and check up on me, and I had plenty of people to turn to if I ever had days where I needed a bit of a chat or I needed a little bit of a pick me up.

"I think that's really important for people going through something like that, that they have people that they can fall back on and they had people they can speak to." 

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Jeggo also recognised the contributions of fellow Socceroo Rhyan Grant, who recently parted ways with his iconic mullet in support of The World's Greatest Shave, raising over $25,000 for The Leukaemia Foundation.

"With the mullet being so famous throughout Australia, I think for him to put himself out there and do something like that speaks volumes about the type of person he is and how he doesn't just think about himself, but also thinks about the bigger picture and other people," Jeggo said. 

I think for us as footballers, who do have that ability to access more people, these type of things are so good to  raise awareness and to give people a hand.

"We can let people that are suffering know that they're not alone and that people are there to support them all the time. 

"Seeing something like what Rhyan and Rebecca did will give other people the strength to deal with what they're going through and that's such an important thing when you're going through something like that."

READ MORE: 'He's always been so consistent': How 200-game Grant impressed Jeggo as a teenager