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‘This is bigger than the sport’: Former Matilda gets pitchside proposal from ill partner

“Five days after his brain surgery he [Stonham] kicked my backside back down here to Melbourne, told me that I had to finish out the season, that I’ve got unfinished business and it was still normal as always,” she told ESPN.

“Then we got the news two days after I got back down here to Melbourne that the part that they took out – which they got all of, which is fantastic – had transitioned to a grade-three brain tumour. So he now starts aggressive radiotherapy until the end of May and then he’ll start aggressive chemotherapy for 12 months.

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“We’ve caught things exceptionally early, he’s on the very positive end of the scale because of his age.

“We’re in for a very rough 18 months but it’s all going to be for the greater good. I want to be able to give him the opportunity, so we can spend time together, we can spend time with all of our friends and family, and we can look at having a family ourselves. All those things are just bigger than this game.

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