The Scotland international has expressed her gratitude towards her team-mates and the club’s staff for helping her through a frightening period
Arsenal defender Jennifer Beattie has opened up on her battle with breast cancer, admitting she “automatically” thought the worst after her diagnosis.
Beattie has enjoyed a prominent role in Arsenal’s line up since rejoining the club from Manchester City in June 2019.
She won five major trophies during his first spell with the Gunners between 2009 and 2013, becoming a fan favourite in the process, but her first season back proved to a frustrating one due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Women’s Super League decided to abandon the campaign in May, meaning Arsenal had to make do with a third-place finish, and they were ultimately unable to achieve success in either the Champions League or FA Cup when the two competitions resumed in August and September respectively.
Joe Montemurro’s side have bounced back strongly at the start of the 2020-21 season though, rising to second in the WSL standings after eight fixtures – one point behind leaders Manchester United.
Beattie has featured in four of those games, scoring once, but has had to juggle her day job with regular hospital appointments over the past few months.
The 29-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in October, which left her fearing for her life, but she says the support she has had from Arsenal’s players and staff has helped her get through a frightening period.
“It kind of does seem like a massive blur,” Beattie told BBC Sport. “You automatically think the worst. I asked the question, ‘Am I going to die?’ – that’s what I asked them.
“I was grateful because they allowed my club doctor to be in appointments with me to ask all the right medical questions, because I didn’t have a clue.
Earlier this year, @JBeattie91 discovered a lump…
She was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Now, Jen’s telling her story to raise awareness and save lives. @JBeattie91 ❤️
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) December 12, 2020
“The girls here were just unbelievable. I feel like it’s moments like these or times like these where you realise why you play sport. It really is like being part of a family away from family.
“I don’t know what I would have done without them. That’s the staff and the players. They’ve all been unbelievable. The support I’ve had down here has got me through it, for sure.”
Beattie will be back in contention for a place in Montemurro’s squad when Arsenal take in a trip to City on Sunday.