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GQ (Australia) - - FRONT PAGE -

On May 3, Car­rie Bick­more be­came a na­tional trea­sure. Step­ping on stage at Crown Tow­ers’ ball­room to ac­cept her gold stat­uette at the 57th Lo­gie Awards, she forewent the ex­pected ac­cep­tance mono­logue, donned a blue beanie on her golden Lo­gie locks and took the op­por­tu­nity to tell the one mil­lion watch­ing about brain cancer. What a hero. The coura­geous de­ci­sion was both in mem­ory of her late hus­band, who’d bat­tled and lost his fight to the dis­ease, and one that sin­gle-hand­edly gave the awards cer­e­mony rel­e­vance, by show­ing the true power of tele­vi­sion. The next day, cov­er­age of the best and worst dressed was over­taken by some­thing al­to­gether more news­wor­thy – the need for aware­ness of brain cancer, the need to raise funds for brain cancer re­search and the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects the dis­ease has on the lives of its pa­tients and their fam­i­lies. Twelve months ago, al­most to the day, my fa­ther was di­ag­nosed with a grade-4 brain tu­mour – known as glioblas­toma mul­ti­forme or GBM. It’s a brain tu­mour made known in Aus­tralia by the tragic pass­ings of broad­caster Stan Ze­manek and head and neck sur­geon Dr Chris O’brien. Any fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion of a prog­no­sis is re­dun­dant. A year on, the no­tion that this has struck my Dad is a re­cur­ring bad dream made true. Six months prior to the news, life was great – I’d carved some time from my ca­reer to buy and ren­o­vate an old Vic­to­rian ter­race house in Syd­ney’s in­ner-west. Dad is a builder and car­pen­ter. Re­tired, but still up for the job of help­ing me out. And re­ally, he had no choice. He’d work through the week, and we’d work to­gether over the week­end. The im­prove­ments fol­lowed the usual reno story of the de­sire for mi­nor re­dec­o­ra­tion, snow­balling to the need to re­place floor­boards, ar­chi­traves, even ceil­ings. So dis­as­trous, but so much fun. We bonded like we never had be­fore. I re­ally learnt what Dad was like, re­alised how tal­ented a builder he was, and dis­cov­ered his pride in my achieve­ments. That time spent with him was meant to be. Be­cause a week af­ter he fin­ished putting up a new ceil­ing in one of the sec­ond-storey bed­rooms – the last job

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