Famous friends rally for Abletts after tragic reveal
Famous friends and total strangers have rallied around the Abletts following revelations their son Levi's rare degenerative illness will cut short his life.
There has been an outpouring of love and support for Jordan, Gary and Levi after the young mum's emotional interview about learning the full extent of their son's disease.
Fellow Geelong Football Club friend Kirsten Stanley, Hester Brown, podcast creator and wife of Melbourne recruit Ben Brown, and celebrity stylist Lana Wilkinson were among the hundreds of people who sent heartfelt messages of support.
Hester Brown: "You moved me so much Jordan. I know your story will make others realise they aren't alone so thank you so much!"
Kirsten Stanley: "You are so strong Jords and what an amazing mumma you are"
Lana Wilkinson: "Inspirational"
Jordan's courageous and compelling interview led total strangers to share their own stories and to reach out to the couple.
Tammie_viola_: "Thank you for sharing your story Jordan - you have touched a lot of people's lives. You are brave and strong. One beautiful day at a time xx"
Linda: "Thank you for sharing your story. We are all better off for seeing Levi's beautiful eyes and rapturous smile. He is making a difference to this world because he has parents like you making every one of his days special in some way.
Margaret: "thank you for showing us what "courage' really means. wish there were more people like you in the world I wish you much happiness with Levi.
Tim: My heart aches for them both. For Jordon to lose her Mum so young and then have her beautiful boy diagnosed with this conditional is unfathomable. Their courage is unbelievable.
Jordon's to be able to speak so openly and Gazza's ability to finish the season the way he did. Love to them both and may their time with their little man be extra special.
Jordan gave raw details about the devastating moment the couple received the news from a team of specialists.
"I just remember sitting with Gaz in that meeting and when they said it I just remember absolutely breaking down," she says.
"It's one thing to receive a diagnosis which just confirms that Levi has a rare and degenerative disease, however it's another thing to understand that it is life threatening and that's like a whole other ball game and a whole other situation in itself because that stuff you just can't prepare for.
"There is a very short life expectancy which is why I constantly say to people when they ask about Levi that we are literally just taking it day by day because we have no idea what the future holds."
Jordan gave the heartbreakingly brave interview to Mardi Dangerfield and Hester Brown on The Significant Other's Podcast.
She revealed that it was the Geelong Football Club doctor who finally put them in touch with a paediatrician who began the process of diagnosing Levi after months of suspecting something was not right but not getting any meaningful help from existing medical professionals.
"We actually left the paediatrician that we were originally with and we went and saw the club doctor. We wanted to see if he had someone that could assist us and he got us in contact with a paediatrician in Geelong who honestly, he was the guy who got the ball rolling," she says.
"This one moment, when you think about throwing a stone in the ocean, just has this ripple effect. All of a sudden one door opening meant 10 other doors opening."
Jordan says while they initially kept their pain and anguish over Levi's illness to themselves, a number of factors led them to speak publicly about it the week that the team moved into the Queensland hub.
"The week we announced it, that was the week that the boys then moved into the hub, so he was going with them and he wasn't sure how long he would stay," she says.
"He thought it would be a good idea also to put that out there so people had a bit of an understanding, so that if he decided to leave, I can guarantee you that unless they knew what the reasons were, it was 'Why is Gaz leaving the hub?'
People were also asking innocent questions about Levi hitting his milestones as he grew.
"People would just say things like, 'Levi must be running around now'. Comments like that are so fine to receive, but when you are on the receiving end and you know everything that is going on it's awkward. We don't want to lie and be like 'Yeah, he's running around', because he wasn't running around."
Jordan was also dealing with the sad reality that her mother was suffering from terminal cancer and it was her wish that Jordan get all the support she needed.
"Mum wanted to be sure that I would be supported and I guess by holding on to that and not sharing that, how can people help if we refuse to allow people to help by being honest with them and letting them know what is up," she says.
"The third reason was, we felt that, and this was not the intention, but we felt by us not sharing it was like we were saying Levi 'Don't be you', and that was never the case. I would hate for any other parent to feel like they can't share with people their child's circumstance and what they're going through out of fear that people would look at the child differently so we wanted to set the tone that 'Levi you are you and we love you and everyone will love you because you're the best'."
Ablett returned home from the hub to support Jordan in the days before her mother died in August.
"Footy was so second and so irrelevant. I guess that having Gaz home was just the best, I wasn't thinking about him missing games in his final season. Gaz certainly wasn't thinking about that. Gaz wanted to be exactly where he was and as far as 'G' was concerned we didn't know what those months were going to look like, so as far he was concerned he'd played his last game," Jordan says.
"He wasn't trying to get back for a game or to have a farewell of any kind, he was done unless there was an opportunity that presented itself then so be it, but if not, it is what it is. Everyone responded really graciously, we were completely overwhelmed with the level of support people showed our family."
Jordan says as hard as it was to move into quarantine and then the AFL hub only weeks after her mother died, she's grateful for the kindness of the Geelong families and for the opportunity to see Gary play in his last Grand Final.
"Seeing Levi with so many children and all of the kids absolutely loving on him was the best thing ever," she says.
"Seeing Gaz in a Grand Final was something I definitely didn't ever anticipate I would see, so that was really special."
"In terms of this year we are just going to invest in Levi and invest in our family and enjoy the time we get to spend together."
Originally published as Famous friends rally for Abletts after tragic reveal