“In 2006, I had a routine medical exam upon returning from a volunteer mission to the Cook Islands. My doctor found a lump in my neck and within moments my life plans of going on another mission were put on hold – I had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
My entire thyroid gland was removed and I underwent radioiodine treatment. I was told that I would have to wait the magical 5 years to hear the news “you are healthy” but I am confident of this happening. It was hearing those horrible words, “you have cancer” that made me want to do something meaningful.
I had already written a Will however, after my diagnosis I revised it to include a bequest to the Cancer Council. I also became a volunteer with the Cancer Council Supporters Hotline. My personal battle with cancer made me realise just how short life is. I have learned to live in the present; the past has already been and the future is unknown. I guess that is why they call it the present – because it is a gift. And as a cancer survivor, I want to give a gift that will help others.”