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Exeter Chiefs star shares cancer diagnosis ahead of chemotherapy treatment

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Thursday Dec 21, 2023

Exeter Chiefs’ backrow player, Aidon Davis, has revealed that he has received a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which will require chemotherapy as part of the treatment for the illness.

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The 29-year-old South African joined the club ahead of the 2022/23 season from the Toyota Cheetahs and has become an important part of the club and playing team since his arrival. He most recently came off the bench in the 71st minute of the Chiefs Premiership match against Bath at the start of December. Davis will, however, now need to take time away from the game as he focuses on recovery from his illness.

A keen member of the Exeter Chiefs family, and a well-liked peer, Davis was keen to update those on his condition: “I’ve recently received the news that I’ve been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While still feeling perfectly fit and healthy, I will have to go through chemotherapy and won’t be fit for selection for the next few months. I will continue training as treatment allows and be there for the team, in any way possible.

“Myself and the doctors are very positive about the treatment and the results it will bring. I want to thank my wife for being by my side every step of the way, and my family and friends – especially my Chiefs family, the players, coaching staff, medical staff and everyone in the organisation for being there for me, supporting me and being so understanding. I’ll be back very soon, better and healthier than ever.”

EXETER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 03: Aidon Davis of Exeter Chiefs poses for a portrait during the squad photocall for the 2023-2024 Gallagher Premiership Rugby season at Sandy Park on August 03, 2023 in Exeter, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter added his support, saying: “Obviously, this is a tough time for Aidon and his family but fortunately Aidon was smart enough to get his initial concerns checked with the club’s medical staff which has resulted in a swift diagnosis and therefore early and immediate treatment.

“We at the Chiefs are all right behind him in his fight to get 100 percent well again and I know Aidon is desperate to continue getting into the club and training and partaking in club activities whenever he can. He is an incredibly strong and popular character and I know all our supporters will join myself, the staff and players in supporting him wherever and whenever we can.”

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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is characterised by the below according to the NHS website:

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands spread throughout your body.
  • The lymphatic system is part of your immune system.
  • Clear fluid called lymph flows through the lymphatic vessels and contains infection-fighting white blood cells known as lymphocytes.
  • In non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the affected lymphocytes start to multiply in an abnormal way and begin to collect in certain parts of the lymphatic system, such as the lymph nodes (glands).
  • The affected lymphocytes lose their infection-fighting properties, making you more vulnerable to infection.
  • The most common symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.

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