Chad wins Greek Is­lands get­away

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - – Dean Law­son

If Mark ‘Chad’ O’beirne, 54, of Hor­sham had his way, he and his wife Leeann would be jump­ing on the next plane to Europe to soak up a hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence in the Greek Is­lands.

But Chad, who won The Weekly Ad­ver­tiser, 3WM and MIXX FM Ul­ti­mate Greek Is­land Get­away com­pe­ti­tion, must wait un­til at least March next year.

The ge­nial man­ager of Coles Liquor­land in Hor­sham and pop­u­lar and highly re­spected Wim­mera sport­ing per­son­al­ity, renowned for a tena­cious ap­proach to sport, is grounded for the mo­ment as he tri­als a new drug in a fight against cancer.

“We can’t go on the hol­i­day for a while be­cause I’m not al­lowed to go any­where un­til the trial fin­ishes at the end of March. But hope­fully we can go af­ter that,” he said.

“So it will be next year some time. We’ll turn it into an ex­tended tour of Europe so we can make the most of it. We do a bit of trav­el­ling and were plan­ning to go to Asia, but that now changes.”

Di­ag­no­sis in De­cem­ber last year re­vealed that Chad, a fa­mil­iar fig­ure in Wim­mera league and Hor­sham cricket cir­cles, had melanoma cancer.

The dis­ease re­vealed it­self as a lump un­der his arm. He acted quickly and sought med­i­cal ad­vice and af­ter di­ag­no­sis was soon un­der­go­ing surgery and fol­low-up treat­ment at Peter Maccal­lum Cancer Cen­tre in Mel­bourne.

Spe­cial­ists iden­ti­fied and re­moved a sec­ondary cancer but have yet to isolate the pri­mary cause, which led to the trial drug treat­ment.

“At the end of the day I was lucky to have found the lump and do some­thing about it straight away,” he said.

“The hope is that this drug will knock it over and everyone is fairly con­fi­dent we’re go­ing to beat it.

“I’m also a good can­di­date be­cause I’m young, fit and healthy. They told me not to change my life­style and I haven’t. I’m still run­ning a cou­ple of times a week, um­pir­ing footy and hav­ing a cou­ple of beers ev­ery now and then.

“What will be will be. These are the cards I’ve been dealt and I have to deal with them.”

Chad said he had strug­gled to be­lieve he had won the Greek Is­land Get­away com­pe­ti­tion, which in­volved shop­pers en­ter­ing at par­tic­i­pat­ing busi­nesses across the re­gion.

“We had a footy club show on and went to Frei­jahs to buy some new clothes and sup­port Hor­sham Saints club spon­sors,” he said.

“While Leeann was pick­ing shirts I thought I would fill one of the en­try forms out. I had com­pletely for­got­ten about it.

“Then on Fri­day, Leeann rang and said I had won the trip to Greece.

“I said ‘bull­dust’ and she went on ex­plain­ing that our son Ja­cob had called her with the news. Of course that made me more sus­pi­cious and I said I had to go and hung up.

“I later had an­other phone call from the ra­dio sta­tion and I still thought my son was play­ing a trick, per­haps us­ing a girl­friend to add to the joke.

“But then the voice on the other line told me I had bought the ticket at Frei­jahs and that I was live on air.

“Five min­utes later I was down at Hor­sham Plaza. It was a big sur­prise.

“When I beat this thing at the end of March I’ll have some­where to go and have a bit of a cel­e­bra­tion. It will be re­ally good and I can’t wait.”

Leeann and Mark O'beirne

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