GARY Ablett's 350-game milestone was special in a lot of ways, but the day was made all the more important as the Ablett family deal with some medical issues.
The Geelong champion shared a post on Instagram detailing the tough times his family has been through of late, and opened up for the first time about the "rare and degenerative" disease his son Levi has recently been diagnosed with.
"Some of you might already know that Jordan is caring for her mum as she battles with cancer," Ablett said.
"But what many of you don’t know is that our son has been recently diagnosed with a rare and degenerative disease. After a great amount of thought and consideration, we decided that it’s time to share this with you."
Ablett managed to play game 350 in Geelong, with the timing ideal as the Cats set off for Sydney next week.
"We thank you for your love and support and want to emphasise just how grateful we are to be Levi’s parents. He is a true blessing to us and our family and we love him so deeply. Anyone who knows him knows how full of joy he is and how he always has a smile on his face," Ablett said.
"The biggest thank you needs to go to my wife, Jordan. Without you I wouldn’t have made it to 350 games. All of those nights looking after our boy, allowing me to get a good night's sleep before main training and games.
"The many things that you do for Levi and I all the while hurting and caring for your mum and also trying to get your head around Levi’s diagnosis."