Former Newcastle Falcons’ prop, Paul Van-Zandvliet, today announced that he will use his fight against inoperable cancer to help raise funds for Restart Rugby, the official charity of the Rugby Players’ Association.
A member of the 1998 Premiership winning Newcastle team, Paul nicknamed ‘Tank’ during his playing days, was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour leading to doctors to also discover inoperable cancer throughout his kidneys and liver.
The father of five from North Shields is determined to fight the disease and has recently set up a Just Giving page to raise funds and awareness for Restart Rugby, as well as Cancer Research UK and The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The money raised for Restart Rugby will go towards providing financial, practical and emotional support to ill and injured players, during and after their professional rugby careers.
The 49-year-old who made over 160 appearances for the Falcons’ from 1992 to 1999, said: “I am determined to fight through my cancer. I know it will be my biggest challenge but I want to raise hope for my family, myself and others alike and I need your support to make dreams become a reality.
“My plan is to support three charities that are very close to my heart and are currently supporting me through this process. I plan on hosting a variety of events over the coming months which will hopefully raise significant awareness around the amazing work they do.
“I ask you collectively to help me support each and every one of these mentioned. I have a tough time ahead but this will give me the strength to fight on and be there for my kids and my family.”
Paul has also set up a trust fund for his youngest daughter, Hope Elle, with all monies raised at an upcoming Falcons Legends v North East Clubs benefit match going towards the Hope Elle Van Zandvliet Benefit Fund.
For more information on how to donate, please visit Paul’s Just Giving page by clicking here.