We shared a picture of young Rabbitohs fan Lylah Williams and Reggie Rabbit at WIN Stadium last Thursday. Lylah is a courageous young girl who loves Reggie and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The image was given to us by Grant Johnson who is a friend of the Williams family and we used it as the cover photo for our Rabbitohs Results article.
Lylahs mum Natalie saw the article on Facebook and was thrilled to see her daughter featured on Rabbitohs Fans TV.
“OMG that’s my my Lylah with Reggie!!” said proud mum Natalie. “Lylah said to me tonight – Mama I still love the Rabbitohs, even after what happened”
After witnessing perhaps the worst first half of football this young lady has seen from her team in her life, her devotion to the mighty Rabbitohs is unwavering.
Natalie continued “You gotta love this kid”
We asked Natalie Williams to talk more about her Lylah and she sent us this:
“Our young Indigenous daughter Lylah, is aged 10 and loves her Rabbitohs team; She loves to watch her mighty Rabbitohs play on tv and when we could, travel up from the South Coast to watch them play at home. Lylah is a Reggie Rabbit fan club member and also a Type 1 Warrior!”
“Type 1 diabetes came into our life quickly and unexpectedly a few years ago, amid the coronavirus pandemic; on October 28th 2020 when Lylah, our then eight year-old daughter, was rushed to the hospital. She spent close to three weeks in two different paediatric hospital wards getting poked and prodded and pumped full of insulin. My husband and I sat there with tears in our eyes, our hearts aching with sadness and our minds filled with worry of what our future would look like once we left that hospital room. One thing that always bought a smile to her face was watching her beloved Bunnies play.”
“While watching the Rabbitohs play the Roosters one Friday night Lylah asked if any of the boys had Type 1? Can they play if they have diabetes? She asked her Dad.
We follow her favourite players Latrell Mitchell, Alex Johnson, Cody Walker, Keaon Koloamatangi, Cam Murray & Tom Burgess on Instagram but have yet to see any posts about diabetes or players with Type 1.”
“Lylah wears a Dexcom G6 sensor that has to be changed every 10 days, this is a continuous glucose monitoring device that is inserted into Lylah’s arm and checks her glucose levels in real time. Lylah’s had some really tough days, both physically & emotionally. Sometimes the site where we inject becomes bruised or bleeds. We have to alternate sites so she doesn’t get infections or lumps under the skin. These can stop the insulin being absorbed and doing its job. Lylah is still very young & adjusting to her diagnosis, She has learnt to inject but her dad and I still need to help her using her junior pen & measuring insulin units & with the finger prick tests for blood glucose levels and other things. We record every test result so we can monitor the changes over time. We measure her food and make sure she eats the correct amount of different types of food according to her insulin level. The right amount changes all the time.”
“Even with daily monitoring and injections, Lylah will always be diabetic. Type 1 diabetes is incurable. She will live with this condition for the rest of her life, going to hospital every three months to check her progress and testing and injecting every day to control her blood sugar levels. In the long term she will also have a high risk of complications like diabetic eye diseases, heart and kidney problems. But we try to make her life as normal as possible. We just take it one day at a time and know we have a long journey ahead of us.”
“Lylah has struggled with being different to other kids at school, having to miss out on activities & events due to dangerous low hypo’s that just take their toll on her little body, have her feeling sick, not being able to think or talk properly, feeling weak with tingling in her hands, lips, tongue, arms & legs and finding it harder to move than usual. We have had days/nights of tears and questions, a young girl full of sadness & feelings of depression & hopelessness. It’s a disease that affects the whole family and has meant enormous changes for us all, But Lylah has the most to cope with. It’s her courage and persistence that inspires us all. We are so proud of our wonderful, strong, resilient and brave daughter.”
“A great organisation that we are in contact with is The Type 1 Foundation on Facebook, they aim to create awareness in the greater community, support families with life saving technology & connect families affected by type 1 Diabetes another is JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). They are working on research for the much needed cure, management and also prevention.””
“Sport & staying active is very important for kids with diabetes to keep BGL steady and keep healthy. Lylah tried out for touch football at school and though she didn’t make it this year she is not discouraged & with more practice with her Dad will try out again next year!”
“Lylah is an orange belt in MMA & trains with her Dad Brett, a proud Wiradjuri man & 3rd Dan black belt in both Full contact Karate & Jujitsu, Brett has supported the West Tigers since he was a young boy just like his Dad so the teasing and rivalry is at full speed when the Bunnies clash the Tigers! It was absolutely fantastic when Benji Marshall her Dad’s favourite player moved to the Bunnies from the Tigers and played so magnificently for the mighty Rabbitohs; Lylah would cheer & cheer for Benji in his Souths jersey & really give it to her Dad!!”
“And in a family full of Rabbitohs supporters going back to Lylah’s Nonna & great uncles who are loud & proud Fenech’s! Just like the Maltese Falcon legend Mario Fenech!! It’s GO RABBITOHS being screamed from the roof tops every time they run out.”
By Steve Mavin with thanks to Grant Johnson, Natalie Williams & Lylah Williams.