Sydney: When Australia face India in the second Test starting in Sydney on Tuesday, it will be an emotional moment for the rookie opener Ed Cowan, who will be cheered by his terminally ill mother from the SCG stands.
Cowan's mother Jan's battle against a consequential neurological disorder has been a great reason behind his rise to Test cricket, and the 29-year-old believes that his ability to fight out tough situations comes from his mother.
"She's one tough lady...I get it from her," Cowan told the Daily Telegraph.
Diagnosed with "a cross between Parkinson's and motor neurone disease", Jan will attend the SCG Test in a wheelchair with husband Richard, revealed the left-handed batsman from Tasmania.
The 57-year-old Jan can no longer talk and has suffered an acute loss of vision, but the neurological illness did not prove to be a deterrent as she visited the Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch his son don the baggy green.
Cowan says doctors are uncertain how much longer Jan will live, but admits that he has taken strength from his mother's efforts in defying the odds.
"Mum has outshone our expectations of her life expectancy, so everyday is a blessing that she's around," said the Sydney-born Cowan.
"It has probably taken me two years to come to grips with what happened to mum. At times it has made me a really unhappy person. They didn't know how long she would live but you can't bank on people's strength of character or willingness to live."
"Her eyes have got progressively worse, so she finds it hard to see things. But for her to be at the SCG this week means the world to me," revealed Cowan, who will play his first home-town Test before a gathering of family and friends.
Cowan, who moved to Tasmania two years ago in search of a better career option, said his ailing mother wanted him to chase his dreams and that paved his way out of the home-town.
"When I moved to Tassie, I went with her blessing," said Cowan, who scored a resolute 68 in his debut innings against India last week.
"She was really supportive of me following my dream, so for her to be there (at the SCG) is really emotional for me. She's been sick for about five years. Sadly, she won't get any better, and it's hard to see her physically decay when mentally she is still OK."
"It's one of those sad things in life we've had to deal with as a family. But then again some people have lost their parents a lot younger than me, so I'm lucky she's still a great influence on my life," Cowan said.