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Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Fight Against Cancer-Never Give Up!

"For we will never have our freedom,
From the enemy within,
Till we fight a constant battle
And not stop until we win.

For all those who've gone before us,
Left too soon, we share the pain,
But you will live on in our memories,
And your legacies remain.

You're a stalker, you're a coward,
You're a robber and a thief,
And I swear your day is coming,

And it's a fact.........not just belief."

I'm writing this post as part of a Bloggers Unite, March 15th, 'Do The Right Thing' initiative by Tony Berkman. Both my blogs will feature stories about cancer victims and survivors. These are some of the bravest people you'll meet. They have to face down their demons and fight. The most inspirational blog I have ever read was by Australian cancer sufferer Kristian Anderson:- "There is a crack in everything- That's how the light get's in". Kristian sadly lost his battle with cancer recently, but he bravely detailed every inch of his journey in his blog. He gained a profile when he appeared on Oprah Winfrey's Sydney show, and she donated $250K for his treatment and his family's future. He used his public profile to get a Government subsidy for Erbitux (an expensive drug he was using). This resulted in thousands of people across the country benefiting. We salute you Kristian.

Sarah Mamalai, whom I have featured before, is a brain cancer survivor, who completed the gruelling Kokoda Trail walk and has been a spokesperson for her cause. Sharon Cohrs. a breast cancer survivor, became the first such woman to climb Mt. Everest. We salute you both. These are stories that should inspire us all. But there is probably not one person whose life has not been changed by cancer. If we haven't had to deal with it personally, then we've known a family member, a close friend or someone from our local community, who has. Not everyone gets a second chance. We need to remember them and remember the efforts of countless medical researchers as they test and implement their ground-breaking treatments.

I have been touched by the loss of two close friends in the last couple of years. Their lives cut, so unnecessarily short, by this awful disease. I want to remember them and the joy they brought to my own life. Nick Purdy, who was both a colleague and a close friend, lost his long battle with prostate cancer. His warm personal presence and good-natured approach to life..... you are missed mate. Many a social get-together that we should have been having, won't take place. Those cigars we used to smoke. Those "have you heard this week's bizarre story?" moments. Also my good friend and visionary architect Dragan Nikolovski, who was taken by brain cancer. Your hearty laugh. Your supportive nature. Originally from Macedonia, you are part of the migrant success story and your name with many others is proudly upon a public wall in Sydney. You live on, of course, through your works. Your contribution to the re-development of our General Post Office, into a leading hotel. Your work with our historic Queen Victoria Building, where you were the official architect. Any visitor to Sydney knows this building, which is a major city shopping venue.

So let us remember everyone we know who is currently fighting cancer, or is no longer with us. Read my poem at the top out loud. By supporting cancer research and treatment, we can make this a reality. This 'day' when we can say :- "cancer is no more". But in the meantime live sensibly. Sometimes cancer will just strike like a thief in the night, but sometimes our habits and lifestyle can play a part. You owe it to your family. Now just read the poem one more time. It's simple evocative message will lie inside you from now on.

P.S. Please feel free to leave your own story about cancer as a comment and to celebrate others.


  1. Neil,
    I currently have 47 friends battling cancer right now. Thank you for the reminder that we have a long way to go to rid the world of this deadly disease.

  2. Annie,I am so sorry to hear such a large number of friends all affected. I join with you in wishing them all a successful outcome. I would also appreciate you telling maybe one person's story if you want to.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Melanie. I know you have also written a brilliant article, so I am pleased to shine my light in this corner of our collective darkness.

  4. Neil, thank you for introducing us to these very brave individuals. I am afraid with so much work lately, I totally missed the “Do the Right Thing” initiative. What an excellent post you have written! I am so sorry for the loss of your two close friends to cancer, such a horrible disease. You have truly honored the memories of Nick and Dragan with your post and their lives will now be known to others around the globe. Looking at the photos of their smiling faces makes me want to smile back at them. They look like happy, giving people. Thank you for sharing them with us. I really love your poem; it’s so meaningful.

    I first became aware of cancer when I was 11 and my favorite aunt, Anna, died of cancer. I was so moved I wrote a poem for her back then. Over the years, I’ve lost many friends and relatives to cancer...and I’d like to especially mention my cousin Russell, two girlfriends who died from breast cancer the same year, Paula and Pam, and my Uncle Joe who died last year. My brother-in-law is currently in remission from cancer and we’re hoping for the best. Yes, we should never give up the fight against cancer! Thank you for your wonderful post.

    1. Hi Madilyn,
      Thanks you so much for your very kind comment. Yes, you can see I wrote this post for personal reasons to honour the lives of survivors and victims, particularly my two close friends, Thank you also for using the opportunity to mention how cancer has impacted your own family and I wish your brother-in-law the best for the future and to continue his successful fight. I believe we should share about this difficult topic and in the process learn from each other.

    2. Hi Neil it's sarah mamalai, I thought it might be interesting and relevant to you that I am organising a huge campaign and event called Brainstorm for a Cure in Canberra next year to increase awareness and funds for research. The event is on the day of my 40th birthday, feb 8. If you are interested in hearing more, please email me on

    3. Hi Sarah,
      Yes, I'm so glad you made contact. I will be in touch and I applaud the leadership role you are taking in this vital field of research.

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    1. Once again, with an Anonymous name and a link to a wiki article I can't really communicate with you. I'd also like to know if you are attracted to this article on cancer survivors and sufferers, because, as you can see going backwards in the blog that is not, in fact, what I write about. This was a one-off as part of a Bloggers Unite initiative. My sole concern is my totally unique 'Life Cycles' theory, of which I can assure you, that there is no other blog on earth that is similar.

  6. Thank you Melanie. I know you have also written a brilliant article, so I am pleased to shine my light in this corner of our collective darkness.
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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.