Klinger opens up on family struggle

Michael Klinger in action for Australia against Sri Lanka at the MCG last year. Photo: Peter Haskin

DEVASTATING news written by Michael Klinger in a letter to Perth Scorchers fans late last year revealed his wife, Cindy, has been diagnosed with cancer.

The powerful and emotional letter made clear his number one priority for the foreseeable future would be his family, taking a step back from cricket if need be.

“Late last year, my wife Cindy had a routine scan on her back, which had been causing her pain and no physiotherapy or anti-inflammatory tablets seemed to help,” Klinger wrote.

“The result of that scan completely shocked and devastated us. Doctors identified three spots on her vertebrae that required further investigation – within hours we were told she had cancer.

“A biopsy was taken of the lesion and it was determined that my wife of almost 10 years had breast cancer that, based on the information we have so far, has spread to at least those three spots identified on her spine.”

The news came on the back of the start of the Big Bash series in the same week, with Klinger saying there was no doubt in his mind that he would be by the side of his wife at any given moment.

At the time The AJN went to press, Klinger had played three matches including a man-of-the-match 83 run display on New Year’s Day against the Sydney Sixers.

Klinger spoke to Channel 10 after the game, saying his family wanted him playing cricket.

“To be honest, my wife and family have been kicking me out of the door to go to games,” he said. “They’ve been adamant they want to keep things at home as normal as possible for her and also our kids.

“The three hours out here – this is the time I mentally rejuvenate. Then I go home and fight (on) again with my wife and family back home.”

The letter read, “I know a lot of people think very highly of their own loved ones and I’m no different – to me, Cindy is the most beautiful person, inside and out. She is the most considerate and selfless person I know, who is willing to help anyone with anything they need at the drop of a hat.

“We have three children: Bailey, 7, Summer, 5, and Easton, 1.
“We had to tell Bailey and Summer of the fight their mother now faces, which is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

“In fact, along with delivering a eulogy at my mother’s funeral, it was the hardest and most terrible thing I’ve had to do in my life.”

The Australian batsman has said that for the first time in a long time, his and Cindy’s roles will be reversed.

“For the 14 years since I met Cindy, she has been my No.1 supporter, my confidante, my motivator, my carer. My everything.

“But our roles reversed from the moment we found out Cindy had cancer. Cindy must now take the mantle as the “fighter” and bring a positive and winning attitude to every treatment and hurdle she runs into along the way. I, on the other hand, need to become chief carer, supporter and motivator.”

Klinger said putting words down had helped him put things into perspective, saying he wanted to make sure people didn’t think he was letting anyone down.

“I am privileged to work for the best organisation in Australia in the WACA and the Perth Scorchers, an organisation that has the most caring staff and unbelievable group of human beings.”

And in the meantime, Klinger and his family are in for a tough battle, but this time, everyone, including the opposition, will be on their side.

The letter concluded, “Cindy will fight and we, as a family, will be right there with her throughout the battle, supporting her in every way we can.

“But, particularly at this time of year, that battle has brought us a perspective on life that we never expected.
“Love, Maxy.”

DANIEL SHANDLER