The news of Melbourne AFL forward Jesse Hogan’s cancer diagnosis has hit Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead particularly hard.
It came a year to the day that a routine check-up revealed Roughead had suffered a recurrence of melanoma.
The star immediately started treatment that sidelined him for the rest of the year.
Roughead, who made a full recovery to play every game this season, offered Hogan his best wishes.
“I was talking to my wife last night and saying it’s 12 months – a lot has happened in that 12 months,” Roughead said.
“When you hear something like this, this morning, it just flattens you because you just don’t wish this upon anyone.
“That’s not what our game is about.”
Roughead knows first-hand that the outpouring of support for Hogan will help the 22-year-old.
“As I said when I went through it, this is something that you know you have the full support (of the AFL),” he said.
“It’s not like the weekend, where you have opposition sides – you know you have everyone in the corner.
“So knowing he has the support of not just the footy world, but the public, everyone is on his side, get’s you through.”
Asked if he could relate to what Hogan was going through, Roughead replied ruefully: “I’m one of the only few who can.
“It brings back memories and emotions … he’s a huge talent (in) the game and you want to see these blokes out on the park. You don’t want to see blokes have to go through this.
“So footy becomes second. You want to make sure he’s alright and just getting himself right before we even think about him coming back.”
Roughead said he would make contact if Hogan wanted to talk, but added the priority was for the Melbourne star to undergo his surgery and deal with the illness.
“When the dust settles, there might be a time to reach out and offer a hand if he wants a chat,” Roughead said.
Roughead also noted that he and Hogan had vastly different forms of cancer.
“Even though the big word is the word starting with ‘C’ – you don’t want to hear that at all – each case is different,” he said.