Wallabies player Christian Lealiifano passes the ball during a training run at Suncorp Stadium in June.
Wallabies player Christian Lealiifano passes the ball during a training run at Suncorp Stadium in June. DAN PELED

Lealiifano to get bone marrow transplant from sister

RUGBY UNION: Wallabies playmaker Christian Lealiifano will receive a bone marrow transplant from his sister as part of his treatment for leukemia.

Lealiifano, who has 19 caps for Australia, was diagnosed after feeling run down and "not myself” at training in July and August.

He has had two rounds of chemotherapy and has accepted he may never play rugby again, even if he fully recovers.

"Luckily enough for me, my younger sister is a match,” Lealiifano told the ABC. "For the family, that is quite a special thing and for your sister to give you the gift of trying to save your life, it's quite special.

"I hope one day to be able to run out there on the field ... If not, I'm happy to accept that as well.”

Lealiifano said the next phase of his treatment would be tough.

"I've had two treatments of chemotherapy, which have pretty much put me in remission going into this transplant,” he said.

"Both bouts I got infections ... because you've got no immune system.”

But he was positive the transplant would be successful.

"I'm young, pretty fit and I've got a suitable match,” he said.



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