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Justin Langer revives his mom’s cancer journey

All that he faced has inspired him to do more for the cause.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Australian cricket great Justin Langer recently went through a heartbreak as he lost his mom to cancer at the age of 68. Her six-year fight with ovarian cancer, the silent killer, took a final hold late last month. After the diagnosis, Langer had decided to spread cancer awareness alongside his mother.

Langer disclosed that his mom’s journey with cancer brought the family really close. He reflected upon the ups and downs throughout her treatment. He termed it an unusual experience, something he hadn’t imagined but also proved to be one he would cherish for the rest of his life.

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I was so scared

“It was a rare, unusual experience, but one I’ll treasure,” Langer recalled. “Even to mum’s last days, I was so scared what would happen in that last moment, that last breath,” he added.

“But all those experiences we had together as a family were part of the human cycle of life. If she was able to opt for that (death) in times of pain or sickness, we wouldn’t have had that extra two years together, extra year or six months, or even those last two weeks.”

He spoke in the St Joseph’s Church in Subiaco for the first time since he delivered his toughest speech, i.e. the eulogy for his mother Joy-Anne this month. He had written it all by himself. Langer, also the coach of Western Australia team had to miss a total of four Sheffield Shield matches last season to be with his mother.

He said that Buddhist meditation had helped him cope and was adamant his Catholic faith had strengthened during his mother’s battle, and with the sudden loss in April of his best friend, businessman Ben Beale.

Comfort from faith

“I get a lot of comfort from my faith and this church,” the father of four daughters said, showing the rosary beads he carries with him. “The church keeps me grounded and makes me feel strong.”

Justin Langer goes back to the time where he learnt the news of his mother’s diagnosis and couldn’t control his tears. He was the batting coach of the Australian team then as they were on a tour to South Africa.

“I couldn’t sit face-to-face because I was too emotional and we had a few tears. But at the end of it she gave me some advice that maybe it had to be a bit happier. As always, right to her last advice, it was how I could do it better.

“In a way, cancer was a gift because we had the chance to say goodbye and say thank you. Nothing was left unsaid.”

He’s also an ambassador for Solaris Cancer Care. All that he faced has inspired him to do more for the cause.

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