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Brian Dilley Message
Graham Dilley dead at 52. That's the headline that I have been reading and living with for a while. Graham is my younger brother and due to this headline both my sister and I had to explain to our parents why they had to bury their youngest child.
Graham was taken into hospital, by a friend, just over a week before he died. He had a battery of tests and it transpired he had tumours on his kidney and liver and oesophageal cancer, the hospital was giving him 2 – 3 months to live and advising me to make arrangements to get there as I live in Australia. I managed to see him the day before he died and to be with him when he died.
Graham had so much to live for. He had a close and very supportive circle of friends, he had 4 wonderful boys, of whom anybody would be very proud and he had an ability to connect with people and coach them.
So why did he die? Very simple – he buried his head in the sand, just like a lot of us do, and did not go to a doctor to check out, what must have been, symptoms showing from his illness. I say must have been showing because we have no idea if he knew or not, because by the time I got there he was not able to communicate in depth about his problem and it wasn't high on my agenda to find out.
After an incident like this it leaves your circle of friends and family questioning their involvement as to whether they could have done something, anything, to avoid the final tragic conclusion. We are still asking those questions and will be for some time to come. This is the tragic side of any legacy we leave behind when we go down a path that has Graham’s results.
I saw Graham in the middle of August and although he had lost some weight he didn't look bad. We sat down, had a beer and some dinner. He didn't eat much, he told me he had eaten before and that due to pressure of work he wasn't eating much or sleeping well and I believed him…. I wish I hadn’t.
To try and make sense of something that is nonsensical I have been doing interviews to try and warn people of the dangers of not going to the doctors and getting checked, especially when some symptoms appear, the reporter said that we would have to be careful in case we frightened people, my reply was “good lets frighten them if it will avoid a repetition of Graham’s untimely death”. Especially when the avoidance measures are simply a phone call and a meeting with your doctor; there is no such thing as being bullet proof, no matter how old you are.
Graham was an intensely private person and although he enjoyed his cricket career he didn't enjoy the public life and he did everything he could to keep out of the limelight, was it this that stopped him going to the doctors?
There is nothing but questions left and there can be no excuses.
You go through various stages of grief and I have gone through the anger stage. The stage where I asked Graham why, for the sake of one phone call, one visit to the doctors, and one visit to a hospital for a check up, all this could be avoided, but I got no answer, because there is no answer. All of you that bury your head in the sand, you have no answer either and you may leave it up to your family and friends to ask the questions I am asking and end up with the answers I get.
Once you got to know Graham he was a warm caring person who could be grumpy and irritable at times, in other words, he was the same as us, the only difference being he was well known wherever cricket is played and I am using this to push, on his behalf, the need to get checked regularly.
In today’s world most cancers can be cured if caught early I don't know of one cancer that can be cured by ignoring it.
In his last days Graham was at LOROS hospice and his sons have decided that his care was so good they want to raise funds for this organisation and to that end they have set upwww.justgiving.com/grahamdilley if anybody would like to donate.