Wading Back to the Oval

Photo by Wynnum Vikings AFL Club

By Abby Collins 

A life-threatening brain tumour was no match for Wade Williams’ love for footy. 

Just six months after an emergency surgery to cut out his tumour, Williams was back to zipping up and down the footy field. 

An eye test following a major decline in his vision led Wade to getting an MRI and CT scan. That was when Wade Williams received the news that no one ever wants to hear. The father of two’s scans showed he had a 3cm-by-3cm brain tumour. 

Not long after receiving the diagnosis, Wade was rushed into life-saving surgery, one he was terrified he might not wake up from.

Fortunately, his surgery went well, with the doctors removing 80% of the tumour and bringing back vision in his left eye. 

Williams gave his Wynnum Vikings a cause to celebrate this month. 

Wade donned the Wynnum guernsey for his first game of footy in two seasons, which was certainly a momentous occasion for both the club and the Williams family. 

“It was awesome to play,” Williams said.

 “I had that white line fever, everything felt like it was back to normal once I was on the oval. The love and support from the club, my teammates and my family was really special.” 

Williams had strapped himself and his family in for a tough year after learning about his diagnosis. 

He found that the unwavering support from his AFL community was a huge inspiration and help while navigating his road to recovery. 

While Wade might not have been able to play during his journey back to full health, he was welcomed in as a water runner by the team. 

“They always made sure I was still part of the team,” Williams said.

“I would run the water, well actually it was more of a walk I guess.” 

The generosity of his club family was immensely appreciated by the Williams family as they waded through the tough times. 

“The club was really supportive last year,” Wade said. 

“They had a game where they raised a fair bit of money for myself and my family. They made sure that they were always reaching out and checking in. 

“My teammates would send me messages to see how I was going. They all made me feel well and truly part of the club.” 

Starting to feel on the up, Williams was allowed to slowly integrate fitness back into his life. 

At this stage, it still wasn’t certain if he’d be able to play again. As he started to regain his energy, he began badgering doctors about whether they could see a footy field in his future. 

Lucky for him, they said yes. 

Doctors raised little to no concerns about him returning to a bit of contact sport. 

They were probably more concerned for those having to go up against the physically and mentally tough player, with a metal plate in his forehead. 

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