In 2015 at the age of 75yrs, I went for my regular health checks and through the course of a blood test suddenly got the call back from my doctor. One test lead to another and before I knew it, I was undergoing a biopsy for prostate cancer. The tests all came back positive but thankfully, we had caught it early and it was confined to the prostrate.
Off I went to the Cancer Centre in Tamworth to start my treatment. I have always had a positive outlook on life, despite my own and my wife’s multiple health challenges over the years, so I was positive from the word go.
I thought we’d just cut it out and get on with things, but I wasn’t going to have to undergo surgery, I was informed that I would be receiving medication, radiotherapy and injections instead.
The staff at the Cancer Centre in Tamworth took great care of me during my visits and it was while I was there that one of the nurses asked me if I needed any financial assistance with treatment costs. I had needed to go to Newcastle for my initial MRI and my council rates were due, so I handed over my paperwork and Can Assist took care of it all.
I was so surprised when I was told that both bills were paid, I couldn’t believe there was an organization out there that would step in to help in such a practical way when most needed. Can Assist was the only organization that was there for me during this time and it made a huge difference to know there was help available.
My treatment turned out to be medication for six months whilst receiving 39 doses of radiotherapy. Followed up by two years of injections. Wonderfully I am now in the clear and cancer free.
But my story doesn’t stop there, because how could I repay Can Assist for the help they gave me? I thought I might be able to become an advocate for them. I’m great at telling a story, maybe people would like to come and listen to mine, and we could raise some funds to help others in the community who were in need of some financial assistance. So I approached the Gunnedah Branch of Can Assist and they were thrilled. Between us we organised a venue, catering, a long list of speakers, all sorts of cancer support groups, even my doctor, one of my nurses and a room full of people to listen and help the cause. We received free advertising and media arrived on the day. The seminar was a great success and we already have plans to organise another. I like to also keep a hands on role with my local branch by regularly setting up and selling tickets in their raffles.
I have been a Gunnedah local all my life and after leaving for a few years to chase work I came back and settled in Gunnedah with my wife of almost 50 years and young family. I’m now 78 and whilst I can’t be as active as I would like I can do my part in getting the word out about what a wonderful organization Can Assist is. Right across NSW they help thousands of people going through cancer treatment every year. So when asked if I would like to share my story for their Christmas Appeal I had no hesitation in saying yes, I therefore actively encourage you to donate at this time to ensure when someone you know receives the news that they have cancer, they don’t have to stress about how they are going to afford their treatment. Can Assist is there and it will help you when most needed.
Many kind thanks for your support.