Unflinching in its honesty, My Journey is the extraordinary memoir of Jim Stynes: Irishman, footballer, Brownlow Medallist, Reach co-founder and former president of Melbourne Football Club, whose very public battle with cancer touched the lives of everyone who knew him.
When Jim was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 43, he was given nine months to live. The diagnosis caught him by surprise – and he didn't have time for illness. He was a busy father, husband, brother, mentor and businessman.
Jim Stynes never took the easy road, on or off the field. He loved a challenge. He pushed himself, and worked hard to help others realise their potential. The same could be said about his cancer journey. Knowing his odds weren't good, Jim gave his all to trying to beat the disease. He embraced life, and made his journey public. His ability to use mind over matter, to never give in, to overcome pain, to believe in himself and his will to succeed gave him two extra years on the prognosis.
He worked hard to keep hope alive for himself and his family, and for other cancer sufferers too, defying expectations time and time again. Jim died on 27 March 2012, a month shy of his forty-sixth birthday. A state funeral was held at St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, with thousands of mourners watching from Federation Square. A memorial service was also held at his local Ballyroan parish church in Dublin.
Jim kept diary notes throughout his battle with cancer, and spent many months talking about his life with his long-time friend, journalist Warwick Green. My Journey celebrates the legacy of Jim Stynes, offering an intimate portrait of a man learning to face his fears and get the most out of every single day.
'If you don't have cancer, cherish life. If you do, cherish it even more.' Jim Stynes, My Journey
'Jim's lesson is that life was to be challenged and treasured.' Sam Stynes
'Jim was a person of super-human courage.' Julia Gillard
'I saw how much it mattered to Jim to make a difference, to never let anyone down and to truly leave his mark.' Garry Lyon
'Jimmy was a hero. He upheld a way of living that many others relate to at a deep level.' The Age
'Few men could have handled such a terrible illness with the gentlemanly charm - and humour - that he showed.' Ron Barassi
'One of the true greats, both on field and off.' Rove McManus
'He never ceased to amaze me.' Jules Lund
'A superb person who has made and outstanding contribution to Australia and will be sorely missed.' Kevin Sheedy
'The story of a big man who fought the good fight.' Herald Sun
'An intimate portrayal of a father, husband, brother and mentor who learns to face his fears.' Launceston Examiner
'A story of immense courage, of being knocked back down and getting up again only to be belted even harder.' Canberra Times