TAKING A STAND AGAINST CANCER
FOR a man on death row, David Burton is feeling like a million dollars.
Mr Burton ,37, of Colyton, has oesophageal cancer and has been given 10 months to live.
But the company of his two daughters is a daily delight, friends have rallied around him, his former wife is supporting him, he has regained five of the 25kg he lost, and there’s a spark in his eye again. He is convinced he is licking it.
More than 500 people attended a function last month at the Henry Lawson club in Werrington, helping to raise $40,000 for his battle.
It all led to an extraordinary post last week on his Facebook page. “I feel more like a king than a bloke on death row. Always knew I was a loved bloke, but didn’t know I was loved this much,” Mr Burton posted. “All you guys rock. Use (sic) are my life support. The strength all use (sic) are giving me is crazy.
“If I died tomorrow, I would go to the grave a very proud man. Thank you to each and every one of use (sic). Love use (sic) all.”
Mr Burton is busy on his bucket list.He got a motorbike licence two weeks ago and now wants his truck licence. He is looking forward to a big family Christmas, and then plans to take his daughters, Rogue, 6, and Riley, 5, to the Gold Coast.
He wants to help other victims of oesophageal cancer and raise money for research into a “breakthrough” device to detect it quicker by analysing bacteria in a patient’s breath.
“I think I was meant to get this cancer. It’s now my job to put back in and raise awareness of it,” he said.
His former wife, Megan Atchison, who now lives on the Central Coast, has made sure he can spend all of his time with their daughters.
“It wasn’t a hard decision. He’s their dad,” she said.
Mr Burton said: “These two kids have made the difference. They’re the best medicine I could ever have.”
Not so long ago, things were looking darker. Mr Burton’s cancer was diagnosed in July and he was told it was incurable.
“The chemotherapy I was getting was to slow it down and, hopefully, prolong life. But I was so sick. I nearly died. I couldn’t even lift my head up,” Mr Burton said.
Then he started taking hemp oil and, within a few days, noticed a difference. “There was no blood, no pain and I could eat anything,” Mr Burton said.
He asked to leave hospital and go home. “The doctor thought I wanted to go home to pass away. But I’m a totally different man. I’ve got quality of life,” he said.
Mr Burton does not want to prejudice others against chemotherapy and more conventional treatments, but said: “If I wasn’t on hemp oil I wouldn’t have got out of hospital.
“The doctor says it’s making me feel good, but masking the symptoms. To me, it’s a miracle. I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my life.
“I believe I have beaten it. I believe it’s only a matter of time until I am cancer-free.”
Specialists in NSW can prescribe medical cannabis products to patients under strict conditions, if they have exhausted other options, but this does not include the use of cannabis oil.
Mr Burton said he had no qualms about going public with his case. More details: gastrointestinal cancer support group site ocagi.org.
David Burton n with his daughters Rogue, 6, and Riley, 5. Picture: Peter Kelly