When the chips are down, Australians'' support you, says McGrath

When the chips are down, Australians'' support you, says McGrathSydney, Aug. 27 : There have not been too many dark days in the life of former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath, but he says that in January of this year, six months after his wife Jane''s passing, was a particularly trying time.

He had been working hard on a McGrath Breast Cancer Foundation function that was take place during the final Test against South Africa, had two young children to look after, and it had been just six months since his wife Jane had died from breast cancer.

He says that as he sat at a set of traffic lights a man in a car beside him grabbed his attention.

"This car just pulled up and a man said ''we love what you are doing (for breast cancer)'' and handed me a 100 dollar note through the window for the (McGrath) Foundation and then off he went," McGrath said.

"I was a bit tired because it had been a busy few days but that left me on a high for the rest of the day. For someone to think so quickly of doing that was amazing. I guess that''s what Australians are all about. When the chips are down they are there to support you," he added.

Donations to the McGrath Foundation now total around 20 million dollars.

Yesterday, in Brisbane, McGrath announced, with joint partners Inghams, that the Foundation has appointed Karen Miles as its 53rd breast care nurse in Australia.

The concept of a specialist nurse assisting a cancer sufferer is very close to his heart.

"In 1997 when Jane was first diagnosed with cancer we initially had to go through everything ourselves and it was quite traumatic," he said.

"We were pretty young. The word mastectomy (removing a breast) ... I didn''t even know what it meant. Then it became such a big part of my life. Jane''s vision was for all affected women to have access to a breast care nurse in their local area. Her dream is to have one nurse per patient, and that''s what we''re aiming for."

McGrath remains an inspirational character to his former international teammates who deeply the admire the commitment and dignity he has shown in taking up Jane''s crusade.

Even some of his closest friends were never sure how he was faring emotionally because he gave so little away, always presenting a sunny face to the outside world.

McGrath insists he was simply being himself but conceded he did his grieving in private.

"It is just the way I am. I don''t try and be anyone I am not. If I need to sort something out I will go away and do it by myself. Life is meant to be enjoyed and you try and take the positives out of it. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to think I actually played cricket," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted McGrath, as saying.

The bonds between McGrath and some of his teammates have fortified in tough times. (ANI)