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.

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