In the heart of Adelaide, where his journey began, Fremantle forward Tom Emmett found himself retracing steps that once marked the toughest battles of his life. 

With his contagious smile, Emmett recently revisited the Starlight Express Room at the Women and Children's Hospital, a place that holds profound significance in his personal story.

For Emmett, the journey to the AFL has been anything but conventional. At just 16, he was diagnosed with cancer, then as he was hitting his straps as an 18-year-old and getting the attention from recruiters, he suffered a serious Achilles injury.

Yet, his resilience and determination shone through, propelling him forward despite the odds. Undeterred, Emmett remained steadfast in his pursuit of his AFL dream.

Now, just six games into his AFL career, Emmett has already captured the hearts of fans with his relentless pressure and unwavering intensity on the field. But it's his off-field endeavours in the past week during time spent back in Adelaide that truly showcased the depth of his character.


Reflecting on his recent visit to the Starlight Express room, Emmett's words resonate with sincerity and gratitude.

"It was really good to visit the Starlight Express room and spend some time there," Emmett shared.

"When I was 16/17, I spent a little bit of time in there for some treatment with some of my cancer history, so it was really nice to go back there and just get a reminder and put things into perspective.”

Embracing the opportunity to give back, Emmett found himself humbled by the resilience and spirit of the children he encountered. 

"It’s amazing what Starlight do, and what the Starlight Captains do to just put a smile on the sick kids' faces," Emmett said. 

"I just tried to go in there and spend a little bit of time, but I’m nowhere near as good as the (Starlight) Captains at making the kids smile."

Yet, amidst his humility, Emmett's impact was noticeable. A small drawing from a girl named Georgie will return with Emmett to Western Australia as a gesture that will hang on his locker at the Club. A reminder of the lives he’s touched.

“Starlight is massive. After seeing what they do firsthand, it’s just unbelievable,” the 22-year-old said.

As Emmett continues to develop his AFL career, his commitment to making a difference remains unwavering. 

"That’s why I like to try and spend my time there (Starlight Express room), to just try and give back in a little way, to take the kids' minds away from the hospital to anything else," Emmett affirmed.