Support for journey

Cancer can be a frightening diagnosis.

And that is not just if you’re the one about to face treatment.

For families and friends, “the big C” can have the effect of feeling like your whole life has been put on hold.

Over the course of our lives it is almost inevitable that this insidious disease will affect us in some way.

It’s almost needless to say though that the prognosis can be far better than it was even just a few short years ago, thanks to advances in medicine.

Even when palliative care is the end result for some, it is heartening that someone’s quality of life with the disease can be improved in many ways.

It’s not the absolute perfect outcome we all would wish for, but this at least allows for greater dignity. And of course, access to cancer treatment has improved markedly with the Border’s very own recently opened Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre.

In turn that means valued support networks of family and friends are also close by.

But it is important to remember that not everyone is so fortunate.

They might not have such support networks, or simply be of the type of modest or no-fuss temperament that reaching out can be just too difficult.

It is a dilemma that can strike anyone.

Craig O’Grady knows this feeling well.

He had his first diagnosis aged 22 and since then, has been re-diagnosed three more times.

When you consider that he is still only 29, that represents a major, all-encompassing impact on his life.

What made that journey more difficult though was the whole issue of support. He says there’s no questioning information will be made available, but a bunch of pamphlets isn’t quite the same thing.

It left Mr O’Grady feeling isolated, especially given that some of that material recommended contacting support groups that made him want to ask the question “why would I want to see a stranger and tell my story all over again?”.

It is a clearly difficult issue that Mr O’Grady has made the determined decision to do something about.

He is to be commended for his Chat4Cure social platform, through Facebook, that he hopes will prevent other young people going through the same isolation that he experienced.

We wish him every success.