New Zealand defender Stott reveals cancer diagnosis

Wellington (AFP) – New Zealand women’s football international Rebekah Stott revealed Wednesday she had been diagnosed with blood cancer, vowing to stay positive as she battles the disease.

The 27-year-old defender, who plays for Brighton and Hove Albion in England, said she received the news while in quarantine after returning home to New Zealand.

Stott said she would undergo chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma but said the cancer was “very treatable, very curable, especially in young people”.

“I think being an elite athlete definitely helps with that,” she said, in a video message posted on Twitter.

“I’m very healthy and pretty fit… I think that will give me the best possible chance to come out of it even stronger.

“I know it’s not going to be easy but I really want to go through this with a positive attitude.”

Stott’s news prompted an outpouring of support from New Zealand sporting circles, including the All Blacks, who tweeted: “Kia kaha (stay strong) Rebekah, we are right behind you in your fight to beat this.”

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