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