Anything to provide a reprieve from the sometimes clinical cancer ward, is a good thing according to Cairns cancer patient Scott Walsh.
Mr Walsh, 41, is battling lung cancer that has spread through his body and was just released home after a week in Cairns Hospital, on Thursday.
While his most recent stint in hospital was “only” a week, he says even that was enough to make him miss all the comforts of home. He was diagnosed with lung cancer four months ago, which has now spread to his adrenal gland, liver, bowel and brain.
“I just thought I had a bad cough, but eventually they figured out it was cancer – I've had radiology so far but I've had an infection so I've been in hospital on antibiotics to try to get rid of the infection, so that I can start some treatment.”
The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation has previously held a jetski event to fundraise for the tranquility room at Cairns Hospital, with planning for the room now underway.
On Australia Day 2016, the Foundation is hosting a revamped event, the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari island hop from Yorkeys Knob to Port Douglas.
Foundation fundraising co-ordinator Nicole Gibson said fundraising from this year's event would go to further improve patient services within the Cancer Ward at Cairns Hospital.
Ms Gibson said for Mr Walsh and his partner and six children, anything the community could do to make their hospital stay a bit more comfortable or relaxing, was worthwhile.
“We all know there's nowhere like home so anything we can do to help make that hospital stay a bit more like home, is well worth the effort,” Ms Gibson said.
“This year's event is already the most successful we’ve ever had, and we haven't even held it yet,” Ms Gibson said.
The event started in 2011, partly instigated by lung cancer patient Brian “Unit” Wilson. Sadly Unit died two years later but his memory lives on through the event, and his mother travels up each year from Victoria to be involved.
Statistics indicate that by the time we all reach the age of 85, half of us will have had a cancer diagnosis. (Australian Institute of Health and Wellness, 2012). In the Far North with a population of about 270,000 – that is 135,000 – or every second person you see on the street.
Registration for Sea-Fari is $75 per rider, with an additional minimum fundraising element of $200 each. Those who don’t own a personal watercraft can buy a ticket in the $16,907 Seadoo art union, with tickets for sale at the city’s shopping centres or online at www.seafari.org.au.
Photo: Cancer patient Scott Walsh is surrounded by some of his family, (from left) partner Bec Veivers, sister Denise Wells and children Kairo Walsh, 7, and Shallan Walsh, 8.
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