Every day, in every way, we are humbled by the strength and resilience of our Unite to Fight Cancer community. If you’re a Unite veteran, then you won’t be a stranger to those stories of strength, but if this is your first time getting amongst it, we’d like to introduce you to James.
James’s battle against cancer started around 11 years ago when he underwent surgery to remove a squamous cell carcinoma on his forehead. He then noticed a little lump on the inside of his cheek when brushing his teeth – four days later, he had the first of three operations and daily radiation for six weeks.
Eighteen months later, James felt a blockage in his ear. He hoped it was just an infection, but a scan revealed cancer in his ear and jaw. Following two mammoth operations, his road to recovery began. James wasn’t well enough to walk even short distances for a month after the surgery and was unable to play lawn bowls with his mates for over a year afterwards.
Things seemed to be going well for James until, around five years ago, a bone biopsy at Peter Mac showed that he had cancerous growths in his tibia and 12th vertebrae. Thanks to the combination of radiation and trial drug RG2810, the size of his tumours was reduced by 70% within two months. James has been off the trial drug for around 13 months now and, whilst he has some lasting vision problems, his stoic and optimistic outlook is an inspiration to all of us.
James reckons it’s important to hold on to your sense of humour and do what you can to help others facing the same battle.
“If I saw someone doing it tough when I was in for my treatments, I’d go and talk to them. Five minutes of my time might give them an hour of being in a good space”.
James is a passionate advocate for, and supporter of, research at Peter Mac.
“Without Peter Mac, the trial drugs that saved my life wouldn’t be available. They’ve helped thousands of people and that’s why I joined Unite to Fight Cancer – to help give families quality time together. This is my way of saying thank you to Peter Mac”.
For James, Unite to Fight Cancer is so much more than a bike ride. You don’t need to have fought this battle yourself. You don’t even need to know someone who has. You just need to care.
James doesn’t take his treatment for granted – he knows it’s only because of support like yours that his battle is made easier. The simple fact is that the task of improving outcomes for people like James and his family belongs to us all.
This October, you have a chance to make a real and permanent difference in the lives of folks doing it tough all across the country. We’re asking you to rise to the challenge of Unite to Fight Cancer, dig your heels in and say, ‘enough is enough’.
We know that cures are out there. Together, we can find them sooner. Join the movement. Sign up today.