Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle has died after a long battle with cancer, leaving a final message shared by his wife: "Thanks for your support, it meant the world."
The 36-year-old father of two "passed away peacefully" Wednesday night after spending time with his family, who announced last week that he had stopped receiving treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia.
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Lyle was initially diagnosed as a teenager in 1999, but it resurfaced twice, most recently last year. He is survived by his wife Briony, and daughters Lusi, 6, and Jemma, 2.
"It breaks my heart to tell everyone that Jarrod is no longer with us," Lyle's wife said in a statement released by Golf Australia. "He passed away peacefully at 8.20pm last night, having spent his final week in Torquay among his family and close friends.
"He asked that I provide a simple message: `Thanks for your support, it meant the world. My time was short, but if I've helped people think and act on behalf of those families who suffer through cancer, hopefully it wasn't wasted.'"
Lyle beat his cancer for a second time in 2013 to return to playing professionally in Australia and on the PGA Tour.
He reached a career-high 142nd in the world and won twice on the second-tier tour in the US.
Golf Australia described Lyle as "an epic fighter with an uncommon touch," highlighting the work he did for a cancer charity and his gregarious nature.
"All along, he was displaying not only great golf to the galleries, but spreading love and messages of hope and inspiration to thousands worldwide who admired his personable demeanor," it said.
Fellow Australian golfer Greg Chalmers was one of the first to react to the news:
"It is through a river of tears I say goodbye to my friend Jarrod Lyle," he tweeted. "A wonderful father, friend and golfer. Quick with a joke, didn't mind a beer, and just a pure joy to be around every day. Miss you mate. RIP."
Compatriot Jason Day, the 2015 US PGA champion, added: "Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend Jarrod Lyle. Jarrod will forever be an inspiration to us alI. Ellie, Dash, Lucy and I send condolences to Briony, Lusi and Jemma. Rest easy mate. We will miss you."
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson tweeted: "Thoughts are with the Lyle family during this difficult time. Rest In Peace Jarrod."
Second-ranked Justin Thomas tweeted: "We lost a great one today. RIP, Jarrod. We will all be thinking about him and his family this week"
Former world No.1 Rory McIlroy paid tribute to Lyle. "The courage shown through his battle is an inspiration to all of us," he tweeted. "He made the world a better place. RIP mate."
South African Ernie Els, a four-time major champion, tweeted: "We are very sad to hear of Jarrod Lyle's passing. He fought a good fight and will be forever remembered for his courage, strength, perseverance and the light he brought to all of our lives."
In her statement, Lyle's wife Briony said: "Lusi, Jemma and I are filled with grief and now must confront our lives without the greatest husband and father we could ever have wished for."
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