He’s an agent for change in can­cer

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - THE SAUCE - JANE HANSEN

CELEBRITY agent John Ford­ham fought and beat neck can­cer — and now he is us­ing his ex­ten­sive con­tacts to raise aware­ness and funds to fight the deadly dis­ease.

Ford­ham ex­clu­sively re­vealed to The Sun­day Tele­graph his bat­tle to beat the can­cer in 2017.

Now he and his doc­tor, head and neck can­cer spe­cial­ist Pro­fes­sor Thomas Havas, have cre­ated a new can­cer­fight­ing foun­da­tion to help oth­ers — and to­day marks the in­au­gu­ral board meet­ing of the Head And Neck Foun­da­tion.

“We need to work on early in­ter­ven­tion,” Mr Ford­ham, 74, said. “If I hadn’t got to the doc­tor and thought it wasn’t se­ri­ous and left it a few months, I wouldn’t be here.”

Rep­re­sent­ing some of Aus­tralia’s big­gest stars, Mr Ford­ham used his ex­ten­sive con­tacts to get the foun­da­tion off the ground, with some help from old friend Mark Tay­lor’s Sport­ing Chance Can­cer Foun­da­tion.

As well as a low sur­vival rate, Prof Havas said head and neck can­cers can have a “ter­ri­ble im­pact on qual­ity of life” if not treated early. Suf­fer­ers can lose voice boxes, or parts of their jaw or face and lose the abil­ity to chew or talk.

“Med­i­cal re­search is grossly un­der­funded and com­pe­ti­tion for re­search dol­lars is highly com­pet­i­tive so we want to try and foster young doc­tors to get in­volved in re­search, and I hope the foun­da­tion will pro­vide fund­ing for that,” he said.

Mr Ford­ham, who is also The Sun­day Tele­graph’s wine critic, has also come up with a wine to raise funds, with the help of Neil McGuigan.

“It will go on the mar­ket next March and all pro­ceeds will go to the foun­da­tion and it will be­come an an­nual re­lease,” Mr Ford­ham said.

Can­cer sur­vivor John Ford­ham (right) and Pro­fes­sor Thomas Havas, who have teamed up to cre­ate a new foun­da­tion.Pic­ture: Dy­lan Robin­son

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