Jarryd Roughead is one of the AFL’s cult heroes and has carved a place amongst the competition’s elite. Captain of the Hawthorn Football Club since 2017, Jarryd’s career has been in the spotlight for more than 12 years.
Drafted by Hawthorn in 2004, the agile forward has been celebrated as one of Australia’s most talented and loved footballers. In 2013 he was the recipient of the highly acclaimed Coleman Medal in 2013.
In May 2016, Roughead received news that a melanoma on his lip – detected and removed in 2015 – had spread. A biopsy confirmed four small spots on Roughead's lungs were cancerous.
Jarryd’s treating doctor (Oncologist) Professor Grant McArthur from Peter MacCallum Centre, suggested that Jarryd consider a new immunotherapy treatment that had just completed testing on clinical trials.
The clinical trial tested the effect of a combination of two immunotherapy drugs, Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab).
Jarryd began treatment in June 2016 and by November 2016 was given the official all clear and declared cancer free (a complete response).
The Australian Therapeutic Goods Association approved Opdivo following the 2017 clinical trial.
Jarryd successfully returned to football last year.
With an endearing demeanour and a typically country character, Roughead has remained grounded throughout his AFL success.
Through his health scare and resulting treatment, Jarryd gained an understanding of the importance and benefits of clinical trials. He has signed up to be the official ambassador of the ‘Helping our Health’ campaign, launching nationally in May.
The campaign is set to raise awareness of the value of clinical trials in Australia and shed light on the faces of everyday Australians whose lives have been changed and even saved by clinical trials.