Cancer survivors share experiences at Biggest Morning Tea in Tea Gardens

Special teapot gift boxes greeted each attendee.

STORIES of survival were shared, along with tea and cakes, at the Biggest Morning Tea hosted by PD Solutions Cleaners at the Tea Gardens Masonic Hall on Thursday 23 May.

Di Beaton, owner of PD Solutions, told NOTA, “Cancer resonates with many present, as everybody you talk to has had somebody affected by cancer.

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“You’ve got to help out where you can.

“Even if we raise just $5, it’s something.”

“Over the last two years, I have lost three family members to cancer, including my younger sister and two brothers-in-law.”

Two special guest speakers from the community, Rex Dale and Kerrie Gregory, shared their stories of suffering and survival, both reinforcing the message to ‘Get Checked’.

“My message to the blokes is: ‘Go to the doctor, get checked out!’; to the wives: ‘Chase them to the doctor, or end up like me’,” said Rex.

“I had asthma most of my life, but ran out of options, so the doctor sent me to a specialist, who sent me to an oncologist – I didn’t know what that was.

“MRIs, scans, X-rays, and chemo weekly at Maitland Hospital, saw five of the seven spots on my brain successfully burned out.”

Kerrie told of her terminal diagnosis of a ‘triple negative’ cancer, which came on the heels of another different and devastating diagnosis for her husband.

“‘Triple negative’ can’t be starved like ordinary cancers, it can change and move through the body,” Kerrie explained.

“The treatments were costing $950 each trip, but we switched to the Mater where the cost went down to $50 because of donations like yours today, and the cancer is gone now, with removal of lymph nodes in surgery.

“Ladies, get checked out, and check yourselves!”

Through a plethora of raffles, entry and donations from across the community, the Morning Tea raised more than $1300 for cancer this year, all of which will go directly to the Cancer Council.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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