October 3, 2023

Kiwi wood-chopping great Jason Wynyard told only has weeks to live as he battles aggressive cancer

Jason Wynyard is a nine-time individual world champion. Photo / NZ Herald

Kiwi wood-chopping great Jason Wynyard has been given “weeks to live” as he fights an aggressive form of cancer.

Wynyard, who has won nine senior world championships and many more titles around the world, was diagnosed with stage four Burkitt Lymphoma in May, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is a network of tubes throughout the body. It drains fluid (called lymph) that has leaked from the blood vessels into the tissues and empties it back into the bloodstream via the lymph nodes.

In a post on his Instagram account today, it was revealed Wynyard underwent three cycles of chemotherapy but before the start of the fourth cycle, it was discovered the cancer was “far too aggressive” than what chemotherapy could fight and the cancer had continued to spread.

“The doctors tackled it with the strongest chemo protocol possible, and on August 18th, they told him that medically there was nothing more they could utilize to combat it and gave him weeks to live. Jason is continuing to do what he does best, and that is keeping his head in the game and keep fighting. He is now switching directions and is focused on an integrated approach to healing and is continuing his fight. He is using natural remedies, alternative therapies, and spiritual practices to boost his immune system, reduce inflammation, and enhance his wellbeing. He is also using a hyperbaric chamber, which delivers pure oxygen at high pressure, to improve his blood circulation and tissue repair.

“Drawing on his competitive spirit and never-give-up attitude to defeat his illness, Jason along with his partner Sharon and their family, are grateful for the outpouring of love and support he has received.

“It is Jason’s wish to continue to share his journey in hopes that sharing it with others, it will help raise awareness about Burkitt lymphoma, the health system in New Zealand and give strength to others experiencing life’s challenges. Please help us to continue to support Jason and Sharon as they chop their way through this next block.”

Wynyard is unparalleled in timber sports. He was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2017, being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

He started wood chopping at age 6, encouraged by his late father Pae – himself an accomplished axeman – and turned professional in 1996.

As well as winning the individual world championship nine times, the 49-year-old has claimed the Stihl Timbersports Series 14 times.

Luke Kirkness is an online sports editor for the NZ Herald. He previously covered consumer affairs for the Herald and was an assistant news director in the Bay of Plenty. He won Student Journalist of the Year in 2019.

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