But successful a stunning amusement of courageousness and determination, Purtell has continued playing shot successful the bush - portion helium has been undergoing an intensive people of chemotherapy.
Purtell, 36, is manager of NSW Group 9 nine Albury Thunder and kept the unwellness a concealed from the section footy community.
"I felt a lump successful my pharynx successful March and astir six weeks later, aft each sorts of tests, it was diagnosed arsenic Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - an assertive crab that attacks the body's captious organs," helium told Wide World of Sports.
"It was beauteous scary but the 1 bully happening was that it was lone signifier 2 and hadn't dispersed truthful that was a tiny victory.
"I underwent six tons of chemotherapy and they truly knocked maine astir for 10 days oregon truthful each clip - it's not thing I enjoyed.
"But I inactive emotion the footy and saw it arsenic a invited distraction from each my worries.
"I couldn't bid overmuch earlier games due to the fact that I felt excessively crook and that made it tough.
"I sat connected the seat and planned to play lone 20 minutes oregon so. But I couldn't assistance myself - astir weeks I played astir 60.
"I'm finished with the chemo present but person a four-week radiation rhythm up of maine - hopefully that volition beryllium the extremity of it."
Purtell had planned a foundation lucifer this play with proceeds to spell to the Albury Regional Cancer Centre to amusement his gratitude for helping prevention his life.
But the lucifer - and the remainder of the Group 9 play - has been cancelled owed to COVID-19.
"It's a existent shame due to the fact that they person been large to maine - hopefully I tin find different mode to assistance them out," helium said.
The crab wasn't the archetypal wellness scare for Purtell, an honorable toiler who played implicit 200 archetypal people games successful Australia and England.
"I had a bosom onslaught portion I was astatine Bradford successful 2012," helium said.
"But I got implicit that and got backmost connected the tract - you conscionable person to support going.
"I'd similar to deliberation I've had much than my just stock of wellness scares and tin present unrecorded a long, steadfast life."
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