Quite a few years ago an actor I admired greatly, Christopher Reeve, said:
"Once you choose hope, anything's possible."
A simple but very powerful statement. On May 27, 1995, Christopher became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse in an equestrian competition.
Like Christopher, Andy is facing a battle to save his life. Back in July we all rejoiced at the news that Andy Whitfield had beaten back the cancer that struck him during the filming of Spartacus Season 1. He looked great at Comic Con; a little skinny but looking fantastic. He received the all clear from his doctors and was ready to go back to Capua.
Official news hit my inbox this morning and I was dumbstruck. I looked at the email and just couldn't believe it. A decent, gentle guy who had the world at his feet, a young family and a great future but cancer had other ideas. I saw "Cancer" and everything else was blotted out. The fact that Andy won't be back for Season 2 is not important. What is important is that he gets the treatment he needs, recovers and spends the rest of his long life with his family. Andy's cancer has returned after the doctors gave him all the all clear.
That's how life is sometimes. It's cruel. We get the huge joys and great heartaches. Everyone has come to love Andy for his brilliant portrayal of Spartacus, the Thracian slave, in Spartacus Blood and Sand. Andy WAS Spartacus. Above all else, Andy is a fantastic guy.
When he was initially diagnosed in March 2010 with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, there was shock but a hope that Andy caught it in time and was going to be treated AND recover.
In July 2010, Andy celebrated his return to public life by declaring his was cancer free and went to his first Comic Con where he was greeted like the champion that he is.
The cancer had aother ideas. His Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is back and he has to undergo aggressive treatment. Into the arena he goes for another battle; this time not as the mighty Spartacus but as Andy Whitfield, the husband, father, son, friend, favourite actor to many.
If this adversary could be beaten by love, the fans outpouring of love would have destroyed the cancer. Alas it cannot.
Andy, your family, your friends and your fans are behind you and supporting you.
Battle On, Andy, Battle On.