Challenge and Jarrod Lyle first met in 1999 when he was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and was hospitalised at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Through this time, Challenge – particularly our CEO David Rogers – developed a very special bond with Jarrod and shared memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.
Though tall and solid, Jarrod was a gentle soul with a heart bigger than life itself. Driven by grit, determination and perseverance, Jarrod was destined to be a fighter.
Beneath his warm persona hid a fierce and ambitious competitor. As a lover of all sports, Jarrod found his greatest passion in the sport of golf. Fascinated by all its intricacies and the method of its craft, Challenge sought to nurture this passion of Jarrod’s and did so through Robert Allenby.
Jarrod, from a young age, looked up to Robert and aspired to one day, achieve his level of success. It was his biggest dream to meet Robert and in 1999, that dream was realised. Since that first encounter, a lifelong friendship was born and so was a dream: Jarrod’s vision and goal of being a professional golfer.
Once in remission, Jarrod worked hard at his game and had many achievements. Throughout this time, he remained an active member of Challenge, but this time as a supporter. In the early days of his career, Jarrod hosted an annual event known as the Jarrod Lyle Charity Golf Day at the Shepparton Golf Club, which raised funds for Challenge to support its many families.
As he progressed through his golfing journey and his career amped up, so did his support of Challenge as he became an Ambassador. Not only championing his skill for the game, Jarrod also championed Challenge throughout his career.
It certainly can be said that Jarrod gave back to Challenge and more; Jarrod’s input and commitment has enabled Challenge to evolve continuously. Jarrod gave meaning to his Ambassadorship through our mascot, Leuk the Duck. Promoting and wearing Leuk merchandise over his many years as a professional golfer, Jarrod endlessly sought to raise awareness and support for kids and families living with cancer. Indeed, this was Jarrod’s mission and truly epitomises the type of man he was – selfless, compassionate and an all-round great bloke.
As has been well documented, Jarrod’s story of highs also featured many lows with the return of his cancer twice. It was the third diagnosis of cancer that sadly claimed his life, though certainly not his legacy. `My time was short, but if I’ve helped people think and act on behalf of those families who suffer through cancer, hopefully it wasn’t wasted.’ These were Jarrod’s final sentiments and we promise you, Jarrod, you have done more than help families – you have given them hope and inspiration to never give up and to ALWAYS keep fighting. Your life, though short, was anything but wasted – you achieved more in your 36 years than one can possibly achieve in 100 years.
We will continue to honour Jarrod and he will always be part of the Challenge family.