by Jacob Wilson
A PANCREATIC cancer diagnosis was the last thing former Whitsunday Sea Eagles vice-president Steve MacGregor expected when he visited his doctor.
MacGregor booked an appointment after suffering soreness he believed was caused by a heavy tackle during the 'Tropical Debbie Cup' held three to four weeks ago.
After receiving the news, he travelled to Townsville Hospital for a biopsy and was told that if the cancer metastasised, chemotherapy would be his only option, giving him a 50% chance of survival.
Despite the health scare, MacGregor was out and about at the Whitsunday Sportspark last weekend helping to coach junior AFL games between the Sea Eagles and the North Mackay Saints.
"They gave me my coaching role again with my kids and they were excited to see me," he said.
"The Bald Eagles have also really helped me. I used to work with Jack Lumby on Shute Harbour and he has been comforting and has really helped me through it.
"I also got a response from the juniors and their parents who tell me to just keep brave and do what I can.
"I'm staying positive with my family rather than being in a bed doing nothing."
MacGregor's connection with the Sea Eagles stretches as far back as 1990 when the side was known as "the Whitsunday Bloods".
"I started as a Mackay Saint myself and went from there to Bakers Creek, then I came up here in 1990 and went into a couple of grand finals and played ever since," he said.
"I love my football and I'm big with the Eagles and do as much as possible with that club to keep them up and going."
MacGregor said he spoke to the club president who was in the stages of organising a party to welcome him back home.
The Whitsunday Bald Eagles contributed $300 to MacGregor to assist with costs while undergoing medical procedures in Townsville.