Gary Ablett's wife Jordan has shared a crushing reality about son Levi amid his devastating health battle. Gary and Jordan revealed in 2020 that eldest son Levi had been diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease that means he struggles to speak and walk, and has a very short life expectancy.
The Abletts have shared their journey with Levi on social media with fans, and this week Jordan made the heart-wrenching admission that her son won't be starting school next year with his age group. Jordan said it was difficult to see her friends and their kids heading off for kindergarten orientations this week in preparation for the transition from pre-school to primary school.
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“This week I’ve seen so many of our friends share that their children (same age as Levi) are off to prep-transition, which is a super exciting time for them and is without a doubt a milestone that should be celebrated! But to be honest, although I’m really happy for them, my heart feels heavy,” she wrote on social media.
“Truthfully, for me, it’s been a battle of the mind this week. I feel like I’ve been constantly jumping between two very different perspectives. Some thoughts have been quite negative with a ‘why us?’ attitude, whereas others have been positive and hopeful. I’d like to think that the latter ones are the most dominant but it does take some serious effort.
“I’ve had to really make up my mind that I’ll try and think on purpose, which just in itself is challenging. Although our little man won’t have a ‘first day at school’ moment nor any of all the other school days that follow, that’s OK!”
Despite her heartache, Jordan was managing to keep things in perspective and trying to find a silver lining. “One of the lessons that I’ve learnt over the past couple of years is that I need to let go of the things that were never promised to me but only presumed by me. Letting go of what I thought would be and embracing what’s meant to be,” she said.
“Nothing in this world is guaranteed! If something good happens in our lives (even the smallest and most ‘normal’ thing) it’s a blessing, not a promise fulfilled. This is definitely not a lesson I’ve mastered and to be honest, it feels like I’m forever reminding myself of it.
“I posted this because I believe that if we let it (which is not easy!) there can be purpose in our pain and when we weather any kind of storm in our lives, we’re in a better position to support and offer advice to others going through the same things. Hopefully if there’s someone who’s heart feels heavy today, they will read this and feel a little lighter and better about letting go of what was never meant for them and a little more hopeful about embracing what is!
“My intention isn’t to throw a pity party and to post this for feedback. It’s not about that! If however you want to reach out to share your own story or if you have questions, you absolutely can.”
Jordan and Gary Ablett's journey with son Levi
Gary and Jordan have welcomed two more children since Levi's birth. Last year Jordan revealed that Levi is never likely to speak.
“It’s really difficult from a practical point of view, but also really difficult just being his mum and not being able to hear his voice or know what he needs," she told the Herald Sun. "When he gets upset, I have to guess what the problem is. Although I will say, despite him not being able to communicate, I do feel as though I’ve really learnt to understand him over the years – I have had to put a lot of confidence in my parenting.”
Ablett retired at the end of the 2020 season having played 357 games and kicking 445 goals. He played 247 games for Geelong across two stints at the Cats, as well as 110 games for the Gold Coast Suns.
Geelong captain Joel Selwood famously ran onto the MCG with Levi before the 2022 grand final, which provided a huge thrill for the youngster. “It’s hard to put into words how beautiful of a gesture this is but know that our family is beyond grateful for you and your big heart,” Jordan wrote on social media about Selwood's gesture.
“You’re a champion off the field just as much as you are on it. It’s our absolute joy to send our son out with you today.”
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