Im­pro­vi­sa­tional take on sar­coma

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By GIO­VANNI TORRE

SU­BI­ACO-BASED im­pro­vi­sa­tion group Just Im­pro­vise will host the Theatre -sports sea­son each Sun­day in June to raise funds for sar­coma re­search.

Just Im­pro­vise co-founder and Aus­tralian Na­tional Theatre­s­ports cham­pion Glenn Hall, who is co-di­rect­ing the sea­son, re­cently lost a close rel­a­tive to the ill­ness.

“In 2012, Jor­dan de­vel­oped a lump on his knee; when it hadn’t healed af­ter three weeks, he went to the doc­tor, who gave him anti-in­flam­ma­tory med­i­ca­tion to treat what was thought to be ‘grow­ing pains’,” Mr Hall said.

“Six weeks later, af­ter go­ing to a mu­sic event, he could no longer stand and his par­ents fi­nally con­vinced him to go back to the doc­tor.

“A scan was done and he was later di­ag­nosed with os­teo sar­coma.

“Un­for­tu­nately, Jor­dan had de­vel­oped sec­ondary tu­mours and de­spite ex­ten­sive chemo and ra­di­a­tion ther­apy, he lost his bat­tle with sar­coma on Mother’s Day.”

Jor­dan was just 23 years old. “We didn’t want his death to be in vain and have joined forces with Sock it to Sar­coma to raise aware­ness of sar­coma by host­ing a Theatre­s­ports sea­son each Sun­day in June,” Mr Hall said.

“We’re rais­ing funds to help raise aware­ness of sar­coma, given that most peo­ple we’ve spo­ken to have never heard of this type of can­cer, even though there are 1200 new cases of sar­coma di­ag­nosed in Aus­tralia each year and 15 per cent of these af­fect peo­ple un­der the age of 18.

“Our aim is to get peo­ple to be­come fa­mil­iar with the most com­mon symp­toms be­cause sar­coma is ag­gres­sive – it has a 40 per cent mor­tal­ity rate within five years, mak­ing early de­tec­tion ab­so­lutely critical.”

Sar­coma is a group of rare pri­mary bone and soft tis­sue tu­mours. Symp­toms in­clude: a swelling or lump, which may or may not be painful and which changes in size; a pain in the back or limb that ap­pears to have no cause; un­re­lieved pain when at rest, par­tic­u­larly at night; weight loss; and fa­tigue.

The symp­toms are of­ten mis­tak­enly at­trib­uted to a sports in­jury or other causes, so if you no­tice any changes in your body, see your doc­tor.

The show, co-di­rected by Chris Bed­ding, will fea­ture WAAPA stu­dents and guest judges, in­clud­ing Nova break­fast an­nouncer Natalie Locke, and will be held on Sun­day evenings at Quin­til­ian School in Mt Clare­mont.

WA Sar­coma Aware­ness Week takes place from June 19 to 25.

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