PGA Tour member Jarrod Lyle has been diagnosed as suffering from a recurrence of acute myloid leukemia, the life-threatening illness he endured as a teenager.
The Australian received the news at home, having returned to Victoria in anticipation of the birth of his first child.
Lyle, whose recent ill-health was believed traceable to a spider bite he suffered while competing in the Mayakoba Golf Classic, will begin an intensive round of chemotherapy within days.
Close friend Robert Allenby, whose relationship with the 30-year-old began in the early stages of his association with the Challenge Cancer support network, explained Lyle’s immediate circumstances to the Associated Press.
“If he starts chemo now, he won’t be able to touch the baby or watch the birth,” Allenby said. “They’re inducing [Lyle’s wife, Briony] today, and she has the baby, he goes straight into treatments. It’s just devastating.”
“He just got his whole life where he wants… He’s married, he has a new baby coming, he’s playing great golf. And now this. It’s the same cancer that’s come back, the same leukemia.”
Allenby’s concerns were initially sparked when the pair crossed paths in Florida last week.
“I said to him, `What’s wrong with you? You don’t look good,”‘ Allenby said. “He said he thought he was bitten last week in Mexico. His left arm was tight and sore in the vein, like he had a virus. I said, `You should go home and get checked out, especially coming from where you’ve been.’ He was going to go home because his wife was due in two weeks. It’s just terrible.”
Buoyed by the promise of fatherhood – itself a prospect little short of miraculous, given the rounds of chemotherapy he underwent as a teenager – Lyle is believed to be in a positive frame of mind.
Specialists are currently searching for a suitable bone marrow donor.