170330 ONJCRI 0050
 Aug 22, 2018

‘Priceless place for me to heal’

Cancer patient urges people to take part in ONJ Centre Wellness Walk and Research Run to help others recover

In 2015, my world turned upside down when I suffered a major seizure and collapsed. I later found out the seizure was caused by a growing brain tumour, which looked like a small apple in my brain.

I was introduced to the not so wonderful world of gliomas (brain cancers). My very particular brain cancer, oligodendroglioma, was low grade, but incurable. Unlike many, I had been blessed with the gift of time and for that I was thankful.

Treatment began instantly, beginning with an awake craniotomy. My care was then transferred to the Austin Hospital’s Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre, which happens to be very close to home, another great stroke of fortune. At the ONJ Centre, I benefited from an array of programs such as yoga, mindfulness, singing, and, to me, the most beneficial, the Brain Cancer Support Group and Carers Support Group.

Being surrounded by fellow patients, skilled and caring staff and the wonderful facilities of the ONJ Centre meant I could start discovering who the “new me” was and even learning to like him just a little.

It certainly gave me, and my wife, the much-needed network of support in this strange new world. You soon discover that it’s really only the people who have been or are going through a similar situation that can give you the right kind of support at the right time.

While my recovery will never be complete, it’s come so much further than I would have believed possible thanks to The ONJ Centre.

It now feels like a second home and in my moments of despair and anxiety or physical challenges it’s my sanctuary to just sit and calm down.

This place is a priceless lifeline to so many of us. I would encourage anyone reading this to get involved in this year’s ONJ Centre Wellness Walk and Research Run, so the centre can continue to support cancer patients and fund important research.

- Ian Gelling

Thanks to the Heidelberg Leader

To take part in the walk on September 16, at La Trobe University Bundoora, and support patients like Ian, visit the web address below.