TAK­ING A STAND AGAINST CAN­CER

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Doug Con­way

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

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