It’s the greatest feeling in world
A YEAR ago, Jie Eccles was told by his oncologist to sit down with his family and start making plans for the end of his life.
The 28-year-old from South Hobart was diagnosed with stage 3 malignant sarcoma just before Christmas last year.
After raising more than $40,000 in an online crowd-funding campaign, Mr Eccles travelled to the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Texas in August for world-leading stem cell transplant and proton beam therapy.
Now, he has received the best possible news — he is officially in remission.
“The doctor read the results and everything stood still and I heard “so, what’s next for you?”, and honestly in that moment I realised that this is real and suddenly there is a “next” for me — it was and is the greatest feeling in the world,” he said.
Mr Eccles was initially given a 33 per cent chance of surviving be- yond five years, which dropped to a 16 per cent prognosis in a matter of months.
Following his treatment in the US, he said this had shot up to 84 per cent.
“Had I not gone [to Texas] this would have been my last Christmas with my family,” he said.
“Most important for me now is finding a way to thank each and every single person who helped me on my journey — the countless kind-hearted people who helped me fundraise the money I needed — the generous Tasmanians and readers of the Mercury who have sent me messages of encouragement.
“I will forever be indebted to you all.”
Mr Eccles said he aimed to continue with advocacy work to bring proton beam therapy treatment to Australia and collect the stories of other cancer sufferers.
He has also been accepted into a University of Tasmania psychology course beginning next year.