Rebekah Stott Receives PFA Community Medal After Inspiring Cancer Cure

New Zealand international Rebekah Stott has been awarded the Australian Professional Footballers’ Community Medal for raising funds and awareness for blood cancer patients.

Stott’s world came crashing down in February 2021 when she was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin’s lymphoma and underwent intensive chemotherapy for four months in Melbourne.

The diagnosis prematurely ended Stott’s career in England’s FA Women’s National League and ended her hopes of representing the Football Ferns at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics in July 2021.

Rebekah Stott from Papamoa shared her experience with blood cancer.

Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Rebekah Stott from Papamoa shared her experience with blood cancer.

After her diagnosis, Stott’s immediate focus shifted from advancing her professional football career to the frightening and uncertain prospect of surviving cancer.

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Despite the physical and mental toll of the treatment, Stott, from Papamoa, has raised awareness for blood cancer sufferers, sharing his experience via his personal blog, beatibystotty.comto help educate and inspire other cancer patients and provide a platform to share their personal stories.

Rebekah Stott with a fan after the match between Iceland and New Zealand Football Ferns at the SheBelieves Cup in Carson, USA last month.

Rebekah Stott with a fan after the match between Iceland and New Zealand Football Ferns at the SheBelieves Cup in Carson, USA last month.

The 28-year-old defender has also raised $39,000 for the Leukemia Foundation through the World’s Greatest Shave and has teamed up with Australian charity Canteen Australia to provide ‘beat it’. bags to young patients undergoing treatment.

Stott said she was overwhelmed with the recognition from the PFA and her peers.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award and truly grateful for everyone’s support over the past 12 months,” Stott said.

“From the start of my battle with cancer, I was determined to help inspire others facing similar challenges and being able to connect with people has inspired me along the way.

Rebekah Stott received a shirt for her 100th game for Melbourne City in the Women's A-League Preliminary Final match against Melbourne Victory last weekend.

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Rebekah Stott received a shirt for her 100th game for Melbourne City in the Women’s A-League Preliminary Final match against Melbourne Victory last weekend.

“I would like to thank my family and friends, my teammates, the PFA and the wider football community for their continued support. It was truly overwhelming, and I would not have been able to do what I have. without this.

PFA co-chief executive Kathryn Gill, who presented Stott with the award during Melbourne City training, said Stott had inspired professional players around the world and become a role model for others facing similar adversity.

“Stotty has been so incredibly resilient and has faced every health challenge with incredible courage,” Gill said.

“She has become an inspiration to so many. Her positive approach to adversity and her desire to regain health, regain fitness and return to professional sport, as well as her drive to raise awareness and give back through charitable initiatives, testify to his character and qualities as a person.

Stott first returned to the football pitch for Bulleen Lions in Victoria, before taking part in her ninth Women’s A-League season where she made her 100th appearance in the competition. In February, Stott reappeared on the international scene with the Football Ferns.

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