Two years ago, Luke Brattan rallied behind a family friend who had been diagnosed with cancer.

He grew out his luscious blonde locks while playing for Melbourne City, only to have them lopped off for the World’s Greatest Shave. 

As his hair grew, so did awareness and donations for the Leukemia Foundation as his teammates and the Australian football community rallied behind the cause. 

It was a powerful gesture and one that saw the A-League midfielder receive two awards – as the highest individual fundraiser in Victoria, and a top 10 individual fundraiser across Australia.

But despite his ongoing support for the Foundation, Luke never thought that two years later he would repeat the gesture – and this time because cancer had devastated his own family.

On the eve of the A-League season last October, Brattan’s learned that his 23-year-old sister, Holli, had been diagnosed with cancer. 

The news became all the more devastating two months later, when his mother Mandi was diagnosed as well.

“I was just in shock,” Brattan told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I have never had anything like this happen, being so close to them makes it very tough.”

The details were unclear at first, but soon it was revealed that Holli had been diagnosed with a very rare type of leukaemia where more than one type of the blood cancer occurs at the same time. 

Holli was placed on an aggressive treatment regime, throwing her and the Brattan’s world upside down. 

Since being diagnosed, Holli has spent a month in hospital receiving chemotherapy and two months in and out of hospital receiving blood transfusions and more chemotherapy.

“This time it’s a bit closer to home. You hear stories of these things happening, but you never think that it will happen to someone so close. So it’s been very, very hard, but she is really strong. 

“She has been through hell everyday… She is incredible, she is definitely my hero. She has done an incredible job so far.

“Being someone so close, I love her so dearly and to see going through this, it’s even harder not being there up in Brisbane, it’s pretty hard being here [in Sydney].

“Our family is extremely close; my older brother is actually the donor for [Holli’s] bone marrow transplant so that’s good that they can go through this together.”

In 2017, Brattan raised $20,007, which made him the highest individual fundraiser in Victoria, and in the top 10 individual fundraisers across Australia. 

“Hopefully I can raise more money than I did last time. I want everyone to know that if it happens to them, the Leukaemia Foundation is an incredible foundation, they have helped my sister incredibly. If it happens to them or someone close to them, they have someone to turn to.

“It’s not just the money, it’s the awareness we have to raise that this is such a common disease and it’s terrible; it ranges from kids to older people.”

Help Luke Brattan raise much needed funds for the Leukaemia Foundation through the World’s Greatest Shave