Light­ing the way

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - LIFE - Ju­lia Whitwell ju­lia.whitwell@sc­news.com.au

ONE week af­ter the biopsy, Lyn Sim­mons was di­ag­nosed with blood can­cer.

“The tu­mours were on both sides of the brain,” she said.

“They were at the frontal cor­tex, so they couldn’t op­er­ate on them.”

With surgery ruled out, Ms Sim­mons had just four days to get to Bris­bane for treat­ment of her B Cell non-Hodgkin’s Lym­phoma. She said the pres­sure left her feel­ing pan­icked.

“I had to leave my home, which meant it’s got to be looked af­ter, but bills still come in,” Ms Sim­mons said.

“There was the pres­sure of where do I live, I need car­ers, where do I go for that, and how am I go­ing to af­ford a place in Bris­bane?”

Ms Sim­mons said while she and her fam­ily were work­ing out how to man­age, the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion reached out to of­fer as­sis­tance.

“I spent three weeks in hos­pi­tal for the first round of treat­ment, and in that time they found me an apart­ment,” she said.

“I stayed there for seven months. They as­sisted me with any needs, with pa­per­work, get­ting to and from treat­ments, ev­ery­thing.

“They re­ally took a bur­den off me fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally.”

To show her ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion’s help, and to show sup­port for other leukaemia suf­fer­ers, Ms Sim­mons will be as­sist­ing at Ma­roochy­dore’s 10th an­nual Light the Night walk next month.

Held at Cot­ton Tree, the event uses coloured lanterns to rep­re­sent walk­ers’ ex­pe­ri­ences of blood can­cer.

Blue lanterns are to show sup­port, white are for those who have ex­pe­ri­enced their own blood can­cer jour­ney, and gold are to re­mem­ber loved ones lost.

The Leukaemia Foun­da­tion hopes to raise an­other $12,000 to­wards their $20,000 tar­get for the event. With an ex­pected crowd of over 500, Ms Sim­mons said the sup­port of par­tic­i­pants was over­whelm­ing.

“I feel very grate­ful, that other peo­ple stop their lives to help peo­ple they don’t even know,” she said “They make you think ‘I’ve got to keep go­ing, ev­ery day is a bless­ing’.”

Light the Night Ma­roochy­dore will be held from 5.30pm on Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 6. To reg­is­ter and do­nate, visit light­thenight.org.au.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

LANTERNS LIT: Light the Night 2017 is ex­pect­ing a turnout of more than 500 lan­tern-bear­ers.

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