Tom was just 36 when he received a life-changing diagnosis.
Tom was in the prime of his life. He was a young father, a keen runner and enjoying living and working overseas in Abu Dhabi with his young family.
“I was out cycling, and I remember noticing three big lumps under my left arm,” Tom explains.
Tom couldn’t shake feeling the lumps from his mind, so he went to a doctor. “I had a biopsy and a scan, to check what was causing them.” Tom always took pride in his good health—so a cancer diagnosis was the last thing on his mind.
For days, Tom waited anxiously for his results. His worst fear was realised—the lumps turned out to be Stage 3 metastatic melanoma. In an instant, Tom’s life had changed.
“I was told I’d need to leave the Middle East as there was no treatment available. I went to hospital for an operation to remove the lymph nodes under my left arm, and two weeks later I returned home to Australia.”
“I was extremely worried for family who were also very upset and worried. As a husband, son and a dad, you don’t like to see your family upset.”
Following surgery, Tom was put on an immunotherapy treatment—but unfortunately it didn’t go to plan. Six months later and Tom’s cancer had progressed to Stage 4.
“I was given 12 months life expectancy. Determined to keep going, I went back on treatment, despite the severe side effects.”
Tom persevered—he had to. The thought of leaving behind his young family was not an option. Positivity and hope are powerful things.
“On my next scan, the cancer was all gone. I’ve been cancer-free ever since—but I’m still taking the treatment. My odds of relapse are 50 per cent.”
Tom’s fight is not over, but he is thankful for the opportunities and access to treatments that were not available to others only five or 10 years ago.
“Continued research to find a cure is so important. Your support of Cars for Cancer is helping other people in the community receive life-changing treatment, just like I was able to.”
Tom is a Mater Smiling for Smiddy triathlete and a great supporter of cancer research.
Your support of Mater Cars for Cancer not only helps to fund vital cancer research and new treatments for cancer patients, you are giving hope for people like Tom.
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