BAT­TLE FOR EX­PERTS TO BREATHE NEW LIFE

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Smith

SAN­DRA Samp­son was among 12 lung can­cer sur­vivors who ad­dressed Fed­eral Par­lia­ment last Thursday in a plea to pro­vide more fund­ing for specialist­s.

Just one lung can­cer ex­pert cur­rently calls WA home and there is a na­tion­wide short­age of spe­cial­ist nurses.

The Beer­liar res­i­dent has ded­i­cated her life to the fight to in­crease aware­ness and fund­ing.

EIGHT years ago, tests for a lin­ger­ing cough changed San­dra Samp­son’s life for­ever.

Within a mat­ter of months, she was di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer and doc­tors were forced to re­move her right lung.

But rather than wal­low in self-pity, the Beel­iar res­i­dent has turned her jour­ney into a fight for in­creased aware­ness and fund­ing.

Ms Samp­son was one of 12 lung can­cer sur­vivors who ad­dressed Fed­eral Par­lia­ment last Thursday in a plea to pro­vide more fund­ing for specialist­s.

Ms Samp­son said it was vi­tal the gov­ern­ment pro­vided ad­di­tional fund­ing for lung can­cer specialist­s and nurses, given there were just 17 ex­perts across the coun­try and only one in WA.

“I was lucky I got ac­cess to one be­cause I went via the right on­col­o­gist. Even though my jour­ney was dif­fi­cult, there was a nurse that said ‘I will or­gan­ise your next ap­point­ment and tell you where you need to be’,” she said.

“Even if we can get an­other 25 nurses and the fund­ing for them, that will take the pres­sure off a bit and hope­fully at least pa­tients will get ac­cess to one con­ver­sa­tion with a nurse.”

Ms Samp­son’s bat­tle with lung can­cer be­gan in July 2011, when a lin­ger­ing cough fol­low­ing a flu jab led to X-rays, CT scans and the dreaded di­ag­no­sis.

Three months later, her right lung was re­moved af­ter doc­tors dis­cov­ered tu­mours. Post-op­er­a­tion, she has been forced to al­ter many as­pects of her life, with ex­er­cise re­stricted and every­day tasks dif­fi­cult.

“Peo­ple walk up stairs and don’t think about breath­ing, but if I’m to do any­thing, I’m out of breath,” she said. “I strug­gle with things like clean­ing cup­boards which are down low, I can’t bend over be­cause my one lung con­tracts so I don’t get enough air in.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d494946

Consul-Gen­eral of Ja­pan in Perth Mr Toru Suzuki and Mayor Lo­gan Howlett re­lease doves as part of City of Cock­burn’s Hiroshima Day tree plant­ing.

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