Wellington Cowboys star Justin Toomey-White diagnosed with bowel cancer

TOGETHER: Justin Toomey-White and his wife Kate with their newborn son, Boston. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

TOGETHER: Justin Toomey-White and his wife Kate with their newborn son, Boston. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Justin Toomey-White's month-old son has been credited with giving the bush footy star the strength to get through a life-changing cancer battle.

One of the western area’s most talented and most respected figures, Toomey-White is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation five days a week after being diagnosed with bowel cancer on September 14.

Tragically, that news came just six days before 26-year-old Toomey-White and his wife Kate welcomed their first child, Boston, into the world.

While the sheer outpouring of support in recent days has amazed Toomey-White and his entire extended family, it's been young Boston who has been a real source of strength.

"Boston has been a ray of sunshine," Toomey-White's sister-in-law, Abbey Lousick, said.

"He came at the perfect time, actually, because he (Justin) is keeping strong and he knows they (Boston and Kate) are the reason he needs to get through this."

The news spread far and wide on Tuesday after it was announced the Wellington Cowboys, Toomey-White's current club, and the Men of League would be holding a gala fundraiser to assist the reigning Group 11 Player of the Year and his family on December 15.

Lousick said the family had been “amazed” by the flood of messages and calls which have come in already.

That should come as little surprise though, given the high esteem Toomey-White is held in and the rugby league community's well-known reputation of banding together when one of its own is in need.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Justin Toomey-White is mobbed by teammates after one of his many tries during the 2018 Group 11 season. Photo: NICK McGRATH

MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Justin Toomey-White is mobbed by teammates after one of his many tries during the 2018 Group 11 season. Photo: NICK McGRATH

"It's just how one person can touch so many people from so many different places," Lousick said of her brother-in-law.

"We've had calls from people in Forbes to the coast, to Sydney and to Queensland.

"Obviously through social media, people just want to connect and show support. It's amazing and while those people might not be with Justin in person, the family is around him to make up for that."

While Boston’s inspiration and the support of many are helping Toomey-White, it is he who has given himself the greatest chance of beating the disease.

“It really rocked everyone,” Lousick said of the diagnosis.

“Justin noticed a symptom and thought he better go to the doctor straight away and people don’t always do that.

“The doctor was really thankful for that and said he really saved his own life. Other guys would have brushed it aside and not worried.

“The doctor said it (the cancer) had been with him for 18 months to two years and if he’d left it for another two years it would have been a very different thing.”

Toomey-White is currently undergoing a five-week course of radiation and chemotherapy, before he will undergo surgery sometime early in the new year. Another round of chemotherapy will follow that.

Despite the long road ahead, Toomey-White’s positive mindset has astounded those who have gone to see him.

Everyone plans to show their support in person at the sold-out gala fundraiser being held at Dubbo RSL, of which Lousick is one the main organisers.

Tickets went on sail for $100 and quickly sold out. The night will feature an auction, among many other things, and people wishing to donate items can get in contact with Lousick.

A Go Fund Me page has been set-up online in order for supporters to donate to Toomey-White’s treatment.

She can be reached on 0438 322 239 or met in person at St Louis Boutique on Percy Street in Wellington.