Johannes 'Johey' Basedow and his parents Scott and Emma and sister Isabella travelled down to Sydney from Maitland on Saturday for the FIH Pro League double-header.
Johey, who is 13, was diagnosed with a very rare and very aggressive form of cancer in his abdominal cavity called Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumour (DSRCT).
National Development Squad athlete and Hockey NSW staff member Kurt Lovett played a lead role in organising the opportunity, alerting the Kookaburras to Johey’s diagnosis and helping organise an invitation for him into the changerooms after the game, along with his family.
Johey, who started playing Hockey as a nine-year-old with the Maitland Rams, got the rare opportunity to hear the Kookaburras sing their team song and was also presented with a signed top by the players after the game.
He also spent time in the changerooms, chatting to the coaches and players and, of course, posed for selfies.
Kookaburras co-captain Aran Zalewski worked with Hockey NSW staff to ensure Johey’s family walked away from the game with smiles on their faces. Hockey NSW provided the family with VIP hospitality throughout the day too.
Johey started chemotherapy on Boxing Day and is due to have scans this week to ascertain how effective the treatment has been.
Johey’s father Scott said: “Yesterday meant so much to all of us, it made what would have been a very hard day, with his looming scans, into a fantastically easy day.
“A day which we will endeavour to replicate as often as possible but will be very hard to top and it won't be our last live international Hockey match.”
Hockey Australia wishes Johey and his family all the best in the next stages of his treatment and cannot wait to see him again at another Kookaburras match